Creative Business Financing

Whether you are already a business owner, or are starting up new, the first thing that you will think about is finance. There are many ways of going about getting the money you need.

That said, you must also take into consideration several factors before you get the money. Have a look at the various options you have in front of you, and compare it with your business plan and projected revenues. Realistically speaking, identify how you would be able to repay the money that you are borrowing.

Here are some ideas that will help you get the money you want.

Savings Account: Here we are talking about your own savings account. Before you dip into your kitty of savings, consider the following: How much savings have you got in that account? Are you dependent on that money for your day-to-day expenses? How confident are you that your business venture will succeed? Be realistic while you make these considerations. If the savings account is not something you depend upon, and you can afford to forget about the money you take from it should you incur a loss, then go ahead and take the money from it. The upside to this is that you are taking an interest free loan from yourself and saving quite a bit of money on that end. You can even repay this loan in variable installments, and not suffer penalties for it.

Family and Friends: This is also a good option for you to acquire funds for your business venture. Depending upon what you discuss with your friends and family members, you can choose the method of repayment, and also if you are liable to pay interest. The downside to this is that if you cannot repay the money back in the time that you promised, you stand to lose a good relative or friend.

Partners: Another way of generating funding is to take on partners in your business. This is again a matter of choice, and your partner must have the money and the inclination to invest.

Loans: This may not be a very creative idea, but some banks offer very interesting kinds of personal and business loans. It is worth a shot to go have a look at these options. You may just strike a gold mine, and find the perfect method of financing your new venture.

Sell the Junk: If you have any unused premises, or unused inventory lying around, or unused trademarks and licensing rights, it is a good idea to sell them to those who need them. This is a good method of recycling your own assets to create finance for your enterprise.

Sell Shares: Selling the shares of your company is a time-honored method of creating finances for your company. If you have a new company, you can do it. You can also do it, if you own a well-set company. You can also sell the shares to your employees. Talk to your CPA and get more details.

Advertise: This sounds silly, but sometimes an advertisement can also generate interested financers for your project. Putting word out there ensures that you generate interest from persons looking for a good investment opportunity. It also gives you a chance to advertise about your company along with it.

These few ideas should help you generate funds for your new venture.

 

Starting a Vending Machine Business

A vending machine business is one of those few legitimate businesses that require you to put in very little time and effort, but still rake in huge profits. That being said, this venture does have its own positives and negatives, which you need to consider before starting your own venture.

Feel like having a soft drink while walking down the street? … What do you do? Well, it is likely that you look out for a vending machine, insert a coin, and out pops the can. While you have got what you wanted, someone, who perhaps is holidaying somewhere, has made a profit out of it. You could have been this person making profit while being on a vacation, had this vending machine belonged to you. Right? If you are thinking on similar lines, here is your guide to understanding the business, which will help you get going.

Know that this business is a 100% cash-only business with a nominal initial investment, i.e., if you are not opting for those huge machines, and one that does not require a history of sales-and-marketing experience. That you are your own boss, perhaps is the best thing about vending machines. You will be the one to decide the type of vending machine you would want to opt for and where it will be placed. You will also get to decide what the vending machine will sell. And yes, you will be the one responsible for servicing machine from time to time. Once you roll out your own business, you are the only person on whom the success (or failure for that matter) of this business will depend.

Setting It Up
It is better to start small, and climb the ladder of success, gradually. Ideally, you must go in for just one or two vending machines. Select a good spot for the machine, and see how it performs for a month. This way you will get a feel of the routine involved in running the business. If things are not going the way you expected, you can make the changes — in pricing your goods, location, etc. — as and when required. Once you are confident of the way things are moving, besides gaining a monetary incentive, you may opt for more machines.

Decisive Factors
It is quite unlikely that a vending machines business will ever go into loss, though that doesn’t mean it will give you astounding profits either. There are quite a few factors that will decide as to how much profit each of your machines will make for you. As in case of any other business, you will have to take these factors into consideration when you decide to start this business.

Let us assume … that you have decided to start this business with a single machine that will sell cigarettes. You have a competitor, who also decides to start selling cigarettes through a vending machine. Both buy the same machine and sell the same brand of cigarettes. You place your machine outside a gymnasium, or a sports complex, while your competitor places his, outside a pub. It is, but obvious that the competitor’s machine will sell the entire stock of cigarettes even before your machine manages to sell a single pack. If both of you decide to remove the cigarettes and replace them with health energy drinks, your machine will finish its entire stock even before your competitor’s machine sells one drink.

In both the cases, the machines were the same, so were the contents, but the sales figures were totally different. Why? There is a simple, one-word answer to this, and your entire vending business will depend on the location.
The location

Location is the most important factor when it comes to vending machines. You should, ideally place your vending machine where human traffic — foot traffic in particular, is constant. A vending machine will get customers only when it is visible to them, and they will see it only when it is placed strategically. If your vending machine is easily accessible, it is bound to attract customers and help you make a decent profit from your venture.

Yet another advantage of keeping your machine where there is consistent human flow is security as doing so will rule out the chances of your machine being vandalized — a problem which is quite common when it comes to vending machines. If you place your machine in an area which is hardly frequented, it will not make much profit, and chances of it being vandalized will only increase.

Good places to have vending machines include malls, busy street corners, movie theaters, inside or outside pubs and discos, inside the school premises or outside it, … the list is virtually endless.

Getting hold of the place
Irrespective of where you intend to place the machine, mutual understanding with the owner of that place is a must. If you are lucky enough, you may get a place for your machine for free, or for a nominal share of the profit. Whatever deal you strike, it is always better to have an understanding between you and the other party on paper as doing so will rule out legal issues, which may crop up if differences occur at any point in the future.

Target customers

Location will also depend on who your target customers are. A little research will always work in your favor. Today, almost anything can be sold through a vending machine — soft-drink cans, gum, hot coffee, cold coffee, cigarettes, even hot dogs and pizzas.

Know the taxes
Before placing your vending machine on any street corner, or outside a pub, or any such place, make sure that you check with your local authorities, and find out what taxes and tax deductions are applicable for this business in your region.

Research before purchasing the machine

You need to trust only reputed vending machine manufacturers/dealers, and keep away from those, who make tall claims. You can visit a few established operators in your area, and find out where and how they purchased their machines, and if they were experiencing any problems with them, how did they go about solving the issue. This way you will be sure of buying it from a good source.

Start Small, Dream Big
The vending machine industry, sure is a dynamic one. There is no harm in starting small. You get the taste of managing your venture with little capital investment to start with; and finding yourself in the position to expand your business, you may increase the number of vending machines in different locations and reap good returns. Make arrangements for a standard vehicle to help you visit the location where the vending machine is placed.

Take Notice
After reading all of this, it may seem that this business is really easy — buy a vending machine, place it at a strategically apt location, fill it up with what you intend to sell, earn good money, and refill the machine after regular intervals. Theoretically — yes, it is incredibly simple. Practically speaking — yes and no; it can, or cannot be so simple depending on how you would go about it. You need to understand that owning a vending machine is not some sort of magic formula to become rich as many advertisers will make you believe. This notion itself is one make-believe!

Beware of the false claims
Going through the advertisements on vending machines, you will come across several claims of average profits every day. A majority fall heels over head for this, dreaming of all the money they will make if they start with 10 machines all at once. This, however, is not the case. These false claims have prompted a number of people to start their business only to find that they couldn’t even recover the amount they invested in buying the vending machine until several months into the business.

Buy from a reputed manufacturer/dealer

Avoid buying machines from manufacturers, who make tall claims of earning big amounts from day one. These people may be out to cheat you, and the aggressive marketing that they resort to is only to cover up the fact that the quality of their machines is substandard and their service, poor. It is in your best interest to buy vending machines from a reputed manufacturer/dealer. It may, initially cost you a tad more, but will be much more profitable in the long run.

To Sum Up
You just need to be sensible when starting this business. You should not get carried away by false claims of people becoming rich overnight (or over the fortnight for that matter). If you get confused and can’t decide on a certain issue, it’s better to take advice from someone you trust.

Business Bottom Line

There are many ways to determine if a business is in profit or loss. The most effective way of obtaining the profit and loss status of an organization is referring to its financial statements. The balance sheet is a financial statement which gives a clear idea of the financial status of a firm. It comprises the bottom line, which is the last line in the audit, and is a critical point regarding profit or loss figures.

What is a Business Bottom Line?
Fundamentally, it is the amount of profit and gain realized after all the expenses and taxes have been paid off. Because bottom lines begin with the gross sales and then deduce taxes and disbursements to assert the net profits for a quarter, investors are able to promptly find out the current fiscal status of the organization. It sums up all the information, which is why, it is possible to know if a company is earning any net income from the business venture or whether the operation is presently functioning in red.

The bottom line can be a reason for rejoicing or can render motivation to make some modifications in the company operations and processes. When there is little or no net profit earned, the organization generally takes steps to better the profitability of the business. Depending upon the situation, the strategy and plan to increase profits might initiate from the management of an organization.

How to Increase Your Business Bottom Line?
Introduce and implement strategies that will provide appropriate solutions to people’s problems and needs. You are required to create marketing strategies which would effectively cater to the wants and needs of the public. Conduct a regular follow-up with people who may need your help and support. Maintain healthy relations with the public, marketing professionals, advertising agencies, and most importantly, your clients and customers. By doing so, you will get good business due to referrals from clients and customers who are satisfied with your services.

As the bottom line is the amount of profit earned after all the disbursements are paid back, a logical approach to meliorate it can be lessening the amount of resources that are related to covering expenses. Generally, this step includes a cut in departmental budgets, or at the very least, terminating discretionary funds which are called upon to deal with the expenses not covered in existing budgets. The cost cutting measures may also be supported by eliminating positions and combining responsibilities, cutting back on overtime allowances, and changing required number of full-time posts to part-time.

Along with the measures to trim the expenses and improve financial planning, the bottom line is usually raised by introducing and incorporating new revenue streams for an organization. This may include launching new products and services, or creating a new market for the existing line of products. The management tries its best to cut down on expenses, and implement new methods and strategies to attract business and increase income.

Business Administration Tips

Management is defined as the skill of coordinating all the organizational resources, be it human, financial or material, in order to achieve organizational goals. A degree in business administration equips a person to perform this management function in the best possible way. So, for all those who are contemplating a career in business management and administration, given below are some useful tips, with regards to management education, as well as the job profile that you can expect in future.

Tips on Management Education

To make a career in this field, you will need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from a recognized college or university. The degree provides education in all the major business administration and management fields. Here’s a list of subjects that you will study in a business school:

Marketing
Financial Management
Accounting
Human Resources Management
Statistics
Economics

You will learn about basic theories and principles of management as well. If you get into a good business school, there will be guest lectures by some high-profile professionals from the corporate world, which in itself is a great learning experience.

Solving case studies, giving presentations, participating in group assignments, working part-time in a company and doing internships, are some other things you can look forward to doing at a business school. Once you pass out of the school, you will have a complete knowledge of management process in business administration. A management school will also equip you in all the required management skills, the list of which is given below:

Planning
Organizing
Decision Making
Problem Solving
Communication
Hiring
Controlling
Customer Relationship Management Skills
Leadership
Team Building
Negotiation Skills

Tips on a Manager’s Job Profile

The role of a manager in business administration, depends on the kind of organization he is in. Initially, his job may be limited to his chosen field of specialization, i.e. he might be a manager in the marketing department or in the finance department. However, as he moves from junior management to mid-career level, he will be heading one of the departments in a company and performing functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling, in his department.

Planning
Planning involves setting both short-term as well as long-term goals and arranging them in a logical sequence as to which one needs to be achieved first and so on. A manager needs to plan for what to do, how to do, when to do and by whom it should be done.

Organizing
This function mainly involves setting up a structure in the department or the organization. Setting responsibilities for each and every person or department, how they will correspond and work together, who will supervise whom, all fall under this management function.

Staffing
A manager needs to hire right people for any given job. So, he invites applications, interviews people and then hires them to work in the organization.

Directing
A manager motivates and leads his team so that they give their best to meet the organizational goals. A manager has to find the right balance between being sensitive to his staff needs, as well as getting the job done in time

Controlling
The manager assesses and keeps a check on the performance of his employees, so that the desired results can be achieved. There is a set “rewards and punishments” formula in every organization, which a manager follows to ensure maximum work output from his employees.

To perform the above functions, a manager needs to be creative, fair, sensitive to the needs of others, a good leader, motivator, problem-solver and a sound decision maker. When he reaches senior management, he will be required to overlook all the departments in the company. A person with a degree in business management and the required managerial skills, can become the CEO of a company.

An MBA degree will open a host of career opportunities for you in the corporate world. So, without waiting any further, start career planning today!

Effective Financial Management

Financial management means putting together the economic resources at hand to make efficient use of them and taking decisions that can successfully culminate in acquiring more assets for the family or business. With effective utilization of funds, you can even attract finance to meet the short-term and long-term requirements of the family or firm. The whole process is intense and deals with the selection of specific or a combination of assets to deal with the monetary issue, if any. The overall aim is to reduce the size of the problem and ensure fiscal growth of the enterprise or family funds.

Financial Management Analysis

This analysis deals with the calculated and predicted cash inflow and outgoings. The analysis is directed towards the study of the effect of existent funds on managerial objectives. It handles everything, right from procuring the funds to effective utilization of the same. Dedicated analysis handles procurement of funds from multiple sources, and since the funds are from different sources, they naturally need to be addressed, considering the difference with regards to the potential risk and control.

Tips

This management practice involves the optimum use of funds issued via equity, especially in the case of a business. This source is the best from the risk point of view since there is no involvement of any repayment. Management of business funds should ideally capitalize on equity capital, in spite of it being the most expensive source of funds. Furthermore, it should also involve calculation of risk, cost and control, and maintenance of the cost of funds at minimum. This is done with the intent of establishing a proper balance between the involved risk and optimized control.

Tapping Foreign Investments
In today’s competitive business world, mobilization of funds is very important. The implications play a very significant role in the overall growth of the venture. Financial management involves the raising of funds through the domestic and foreign market. When considering overseas solutions, direct and foreign institutional investments are major resources to tap, in order to raise the required funds. This whole mechanism designed for effective procurement of funds has to be periodically reviewed and modified, understanding the changing requirements of foreign investors.

Utilization of Funds
The ultimate goal cannot be addressed or achieved without first designing a strategy to ensure the proper utilization of funds. This helps to evade situations in which the funds remain idle or lack of profitable utilization of funds in hand. When availing of funds for the business, it is important to understand the involved cost and risk factors. Wastage of funds will only result in the business objectives not being met and ultimately, loss. The funds existent within the business should be critically reviewed from time to time and employed properly and profitably.

Scope and Extent
It has become imperative to address sound financial management in all types of organizations to guarantee efficient use of all resources. Research reveals that many firms liquidate because of mismanagement of funds and not, as it is commonly believed, because of obsolete technology or the lack of skilled labor. It is, in general, designed and customized according to different client needs to optimize output from the assessed fund input. In a situation where resources seem scarce and the demand for funds is high, its proper utilization is an absolute necessity.

The objectives of efficient financial management include maximization of profit. However, profit maximization is a limited objective and if it becomes the sole focus, then the approach only leads to more problems. This aspect must take into consideration, the relationship between risk and profit and work towards achieving a balance. The value of a business is analyzed on the evaluation of the stock market price. Thus, all in all, this financial practice should take into account, present and expected future income and the dividend policy of the firm to come up with a near-perfect understanding of the company’s progress potential.

Management and Administration of Business

If you are someone who enjoys working with people, and have an ability to motivate and lead them, if you are a good planner and have been known as an excellent organizer―you are simply cut out for a career in business management and administration.

In simple words, management can be defined as the function of utilizing and managing all the available resources in the organization, such as human resources, material resources, and financial resources, so that the goals of the organization can be achieved. A degree in business administration will prepare you to perform this function of management in an appropriate manner. To enter this profession, you will need to get into a business school and get an MBA degree. Here is some useful information on the kind of training, studies, and experience you can expect at a business school during your degree, followed by the jobs that you will become eligible for once you pass out of the course.

MBA Subjects
General Management
Human Resources Management
Financial Management
Marketing
Business Strategy
Economics
Accounting
Business Ethics
Information Management and Technology
Business Laws
Company Structure and Organizational Management
Entrepreneurship
Logistics
Economic and Financial Affairs
E-Commerce & Technology

Management Skills

Planning
Organizing
Leadership
Decision-making
Communication (Spoken and Written)
Problem Solving
Staffing
Controlling
Customer Relationship Management Skills
Negotiation Skills

Team Building
Today, education has evolved a lot, owing to changes that have taken place in the corporate world, due to globalization and technological advancements. There have been new subjects introduced, such as e-commerce, international finance, information technology, etc., and the emphasis is shifting more on practical experience and learning, by way of guest lectures by industry professionals, case studies, internships, presentations, and group assignments.

Careers in Business Management and Administration

A person who has an MBA degree, years of experience in the corporate world, and the desired skills, has the potential to reach the highest position in an organization, i.e., become a CEO. However, to reach such heights, he needs to have the experience of heading various departments, and performing all functions such as planning (setting individual, departmental, short-term and long-term goals), organizing ( setting supervisory-subordinate structures, fixing responsibilities, communication flow structure, etc), hiring (interviewing applicants and selecting workforce), directing (motivating and leading people to achieve maximum employee output), and controlling (taking performance appraisals, attaching ‘rewards and punishments’ to ensure results).

An MBA degree will open up a lot of job avenues for you in the corporate world. The salaries at the entry-level positions are pretty competitive too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an entry-level managerial position can fetch you anywhere between $30,000 to $ 110,000, with the finance specialization being the most well-paying. A senior manager can expect anywhere between $60,000 to $1,000,000, depending upon the size of the company, his work profile, as well as the location.

Management Styles and Techniques

A leader or a manager should be very careful, while choosing the business management styles and techniques for an organization. This is because the success of an organization depends upon the kind of management styles and the management skills which the managers exhibit. Some management styles are people oriented, while others are project or work oriented. Here are the three management styles which are primarily used by the managers in today’s organizations.

Management Styles

Teamwork Style

Here, tasks are accomplished by constituting teams first, and then dividing the tasks among the teams. It is commonly observed that tasks are accomplished more efficiently through teams. That is why most organizations follow this style of management. The different team members bring their knowledge to the table while accomplishing various tasks, and hence, tasks can be done more quickly in teams rather than by individuals on their own. In order to function properly, there should be proper workplace communication between the various team members and also between the manager and the team members. “Team spirit” is a prerequisite for the success of this style of management.

Directing Style

In this style of management, the manager communicates the “goals, expectations, and standards” to the employees very clearly in the beginning itself. The manager is in direct control of the situation literally, i.e., he dictates to the employees what tasks have to be done, how they have to be done, and the deadline for those tasks. The manager has all the decision-making powers and seldom asks the employees for a feedback. This management style is considered slightly impersonal, but sometimes, such situations arise in organizations, such as meeting a deadline or when the number of employees is too huge, that only top-down management approach or directing style of management can bring desired results.

Participatory Style

Participatory style of management is based on the principle of “faith”. Under this style of management, the leadership and management places full faith in the abilities of the employees. The tasks are given directly to the employees and are well-explained to them in advance. Their inputs on the tasks are also given due importance. The employees know how their work is fitting into the organization’s big goals. When their inputs are sought and they are also made aware how important they are to the health of the organization, their motivation levels become very high and they perform better. This style is usually seen in smaller organizations with lesser number of employees.

Management Techniques

Management techniques are those management concepts or strategies, which are followed to run an organization efficiently and profitably. Management techniques, whether pertaining to employees, the customers of the organization or the partners, in case of partnerships, should be chosen only after evaluating the needs of all three. An example of a management technique pertaining to employees is the use of incentives, so as to motivate them, or to provide them with training in order to update their skills. Management techniques pertaining to customers are usually aimed at keeping them happy and satisfied so that they keep on coming back. An example of this, could be the various discount offers that are given to the customers on special occasions, such as Christmas. Whatever management techniques are chosen by organizations, the main thing to consider is that they should fulfill the needs of the organization and also, of the employees, customers and the partners.

According to business experts, the most effective techniques are those that are a mix of all the styles. The management styles that are followed, should depend upon the situation that an organization is facing. In the fast changing business environment, it will neither be practical nor profitable, to stick to only one style. That is why the management gurus, when giving management tips, always insist that only the organizations that evolve their management techniques, according to the ever-changing corporate culture, will survive to see the future.

Basic Business Management Skills

The verb manage comes from the Italian word maneggiare which means handling (especially a horse), which is derived from the Latin word manus meaning hand. In the 17th and 18th centuries, meaning of the English word management evolved from the Old French word mesnage.

“Management is the art of getting things done through people,” says management consultant Mary Parker Follett. People are perhaps the most valuable resource of a business. But there are others, like financial resources, infrastructural resources, inventory, and technology, whose optimum use is essential for effective business management. According to Peter Drucker, “Managers give direction to their organizations, provide leadership, and decide how to use organizational resources to accomplish goals.”

Management skills are classified as political (used in building power and business networking), conceptual (used in analysis of situations), diagnostic (used in taking an action in response to a situation), technical (domain knowledge), and interpersonal (people skills).

Frenchman Henri Fayol describes management as a composition of five functions, namely planning, organizing, commanding, coordination, and control. Modern texts have reduced them to four, which include, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

Planning
Planning involves identification of your business goal and finding the way to reach it. It involves the estimation of various costs that will be incurred and evaluation of the time required to attain the business goal. A business plan has to be documented and reviewed on a regular basis. A plan is worth it if the attainment of the business goal is feasible with the allocated resources.

Organizing
It involves the assignment of tasks and allocation of resources throughout the business organization. It includes determining the primary goals of the business and strategies to reach them. It includes division of activities into tasks and assignment of the tasks to suitable and deserving employees.

Commanding
Commanding or leading is a management skill in itself. A true leader builds confidence in his followers and instills a feeling of admiration in them. He develops in them a sense of commitment towards business. A leader influences others to follow him. Understanding the need of the time, leaders need to be flexible and adaptable to change. They should help encourage the development of flexibility and adaptability in the team members.

Being innovative is important for business growth. Leaders need to be open to new ideas, they need to innovate, bring in positive change as and when needed, and progress. Progress is hardly possible without innovation. A leader should not just dream big but also provide his followers with a framework to fulfill those dreams. Innovation includes both imagination and action in accordance with it. Delegation is another important aspect of leading. It refers to allocation of tasks to the right people. It involves entrusting deserving candidates with work that they can do best.

Coordination
Coordination involves effective communication between team members and across teams. It is useful in tracking activities towards achievement of goals. Mary Parker Follett, an American social worker and management consultant, says that coordination is the “Plus value of the group”. That is, a well-coordinated group can achieve more. Coordination involves integrating and synchronizing the efforts of team members towards fulfillment of a common goal. It is crucial for taking decisions about the future lines of action.

Control
Control refers to setting standards, ensuring that the performance meets the set standards, and taking corrective action as and when necessary. Taking a corrective action needs prior analysis of the causes of performance deficit. Control is best-implemented in the form of able guidance given to employees by their manager. Evaluations are necessary to track employee and business performance.

Coordination and control are important for the success of a business. Business is ‘busy-ness’. In simple words, it refers to the act of being busy in productive work. Management is the process of measurement of the amount of work being done. It also involves assessing the quality of work and productivity.

Business management skills cannot be confined to the definition of any one management theorist. The definition of management has evolved over time and the role of a business manager is no longer limited to only planning work and overseeing its execution. Considering the competition and changing market trends, a business manager needs to be a thinker and communicator. He needs to have an in-depth understanding of his business and its resources. Here, we look at these and certain other skills that make a good business manager.

Directed Thinking
Simply put, it refers to thinking towards a specific goal. The ability of directed thinking is crucial to develop a business idea as it involves logical, purposeful thinking to reach a particular goal. It is an important part of problem-solving, and can fall under both, conceptual and diagnostic business management skills.

Effectiveness
One more quality that a skilled manager should possess, is the willingness to work effectively towards the achievement of his business goal. Management guru Peter Drucker made a distinction between ‘efficient’ and ‘effective’. According to him, performing an activity swiftly and economically refers to being efficient, while doing the right thing at the right time, with efficiency, refers to effectiveness. Good business management skills lead you to the right goals. On the other hand, doing the wrong things or doing things in the wrong direction is a waste of time and resources. In other words, it’s the exercise of efficiency to no avail. A leader should know how to prioritize business activities. He should be able to understand what’s important for the business and differentiate it from what is urgent. It is important for effective business management.

Knowledge of Strengths and Opportunities
Effective business management asks for a complete knowledge of the strengths and growth opportunities a business has. Knowing the strengths requires an understanding of the availability and potential of the business resources. A complete understanding of the business and competition can help a manager understand the prospects of his business.

Knowledge of Weaknesses and Threats
As a leader, one should be able to understand the weaknesses of his organization and try to improve on them. A manager must be able to identify the threats to his business and fight them effectively. He should have the skill to endure every setback and learn from mistakes or bad decisions. Successful business development strategies used by others can help a business manager devise his own. This is where the skill to ‘experiment’ comes in the scene. Experimentation needs to be accompanied by the right judgment of actions and results.

Business management includes management of all business/organizational resources. And that includes management of money, time, and people. Proper prioritizing and scheduling of tasks for oneself and the team is an important constituent of business management. Management of money is integral to running a business. The activities of buying, selling, and pricing have to be done skillfully. Business management is not a cakewalk. It includes everything from planning, supervising, right up to being the spokesperson for your business.

People Skills
A business manager needs to possess people skills for effective management of human resources. A manager should be able to bring out the best from his team. Difficult people, those with rigid opinions and those not adaptable to change, need to be dealt with. Identification of errors followed by instructions for improvement need to come from a manager. He needs to imbibe in the minds of others that improvement is a continuous process and is essential for growth. A manager should take every opportunity to appreciate the efforts of his team members and celebrate the team’s successes. This encourages them to work to the fullest of their capacities. A manager should have the ability to keep the team’s spirits high and keep the people motivated. It’s human psychology to like getting noticed for one’s work. It’s not unnatural for one to expect recognition for his work. One of the most important business management skills is to be able to encourage your team members, extract work from them and appreciate them for it.

Approachability
Another managerial skill is to create and maintain an open atmosphere in the team. The team members should feel free to voice their concerns and always feel assured of their concerns being heard. There should be a proper hierarchy for communication within the organization. It is a good practice to assign relatively experienced employees as buddies for those newly-joined so that the new recruits do not feel unheard. This way, everyone in the organization has a point of contact.

Communication Skills
Communicating in a way that everyone understands is a skill a manager should have. That’s essential for teamwork and thereby for business management. In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” This is what teamwork means. Developing a team spirit and maintaining it through thick and thin of a business is indeed a management skill. Keeping people together needs a manager to be a good communicator. Being able to convey one’s ideas to people, and getting good work done from them, is a skill. Communication should be effective. A business manager needs to exercise his communication skills, not just when interacting with the team, but also when communicating with external agencies; for example, during business negotiations or when addressing customer issues. That depends on your job responsibilities in the organization, but communication is an important part of a managerial role.

Foresight
It is important in business management. A business manager needs to be able to sense trouble ahead of time. He needs to be prepared for it and plan work and devise strategies accordingly. Foresightedness helps a manager assess future needs of the business and identify emerging fields for diversification.

An excellent example of a business developer with foresight, was Steve Jobs. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new,” he said. He believed in anticipating customer needs in advance to be able to give them products they would start wanting.
Management is about taking the right decisions at the right time and getting them implemented by the right people. Effective business management requires a manager to have certain basic skills like the ones given above. And one very important, yet not-so-common thing he needs to have is common sense.

Raise Money for a Business

The capital is one of the first things that needs to be taken into consideration when one is setting out on a business venture, and there are many different sources to obtain this capital. It is not necessary to stick to one particular source rigidly; even a combination of various different sources can be used.

Anyone who is wondering how to raise money for a restaurant, a start-up, an advertising agency, or any other small-scale venture should keep these methods in mind. Approaching the right people for it is vitally important for the success of the business, and if this is not catered to properly, it will be doomed from the very beginning.

Personal Savings

This is the most obvious source of money for starting a business. If you have saved up enough money over the years, go ahead and make use of it to serve the underlying purpose. You will not be answerable to anyone, and you will not have to worry about repaying someone. If you choose this option, ensure that you are not using all your savings though. Many people neglect this option because if they lose it, they will have nothing left to live on.

Venture Capitalists

This is the next most obvious source for your initiative. Venture capitalists are professional agencies who put in venture capital into an upcoming business. What they get in return is either its share, or a share of the profits, or pretty high interest rates. It may sound like exploitation, but this is one of the best ways to get money. Venture capitalists are always looking for new and innovative business ideas that are likely to succeed.

Angel Investors

These are a refined form of venture capitalists, but many people think that they mean the same thing. Angel investors are less demanding than venture capitalists and remain with your initiative in the long run. Usually, these are someone who you would know personally, and they are simply looking for ways to get a higher return on their investment. How companies raise money depends a lot on the nature of the business and the method of entrepreneurship adopted. Angel investors also help them by providing some guidance and mentoring.

Personal Borrowings

Here is a method that should be avoided as far as possible. You can borrow money from someone you know, namely your friends, family, or other people. The problem here is that once you mix business and personal relationships, things start to get a bit sour. This is a situation that needs to be handled with great tact and diplomacy, and not everyone can manage to do that. Still, this is a method that many people consider.

Bank Loans

Another answer is to approach a bank for a small loan. With banks, you will not be required to pay a very high interest rate, but you will need sufficient documentation about the business model of your initiative. Along with that, your credit history and financial stability will also be scrutinized, in order to find if you are worthy of getting a loan. Most people would love to get it, but are simply not eligible. This is especially true for someone looking to collect the money, without owning any fixed assets.

Advertising

Here is another answer, but one that requires a suitable amount of investment and more than a fair share of patience. If you can handle the advertising of your upcoming company well, you can get more than enough money to sustain it in the long run. There are some websites that also allow you to advertise your business plan and then suit you up with a matching investor. This is a slightly unreliable method for sure, but it works wonders if one can find the right match.

Other Options

One can approach some small-business investment companies, business development commissions, life insurance companies, or a money broker. The reliability of these options will not be very high, and their demand may be exorbitant, but if you have run out of all other options, then this is something that you will need to resort to.

You should act as early as possible, in order to get sufficient capital and business financing. There is a variety of sources available, and as long as you have a great and reliable plan, you will be able to procure capital. It is not all that difficult; all you need more than anything else is faith in yourself.

Cost Cutting Tips

These days, a lot of importance is being given to cost cutting at home and for businesses. If done at proper places, it helps us to save money and invest in the right place to maximize the profits. However, the problem is that, we think of these ideas only in the phase of economic recession or when our business is in a financial crisis. Instead, it should be planned and implemented at all times, even in the days when your business is extremely profitable. The efforts made by this method will help you to deal with issues such as sudden drop in demand of your products. It is also one of the best means of wealth creation over a time. Let us learn about cost cutting measures for businesses and home.

For Businesses

Cost cutting ideas are to be implemented by the finance and accounts department with the consultation and coordination of the personnel management. HR managers should chalk out smart strategies to avoid unnecessary expenses, which affect the profit margins of the company. Giving salaries and bonuses to staff as per their performance would be an innovative idea instead of having common appraisal for all the employees. A lot of money is spent on traveling for business purposes and such expenses can be easily curtailed by choosing a slightly less luxurious traveling option. So, if time is not the constraint, adopt railways as a mean of transport instead of airways. At times, you can also reduce costs on accommodation. However, this measure may depend on the employee’s designation.

Many product manufacturing companies are unable to control their costs as they have to depend on other companies for supply of raw materials, their processing and packaging, because they do not have the required high-end technology for the same. So, it would be advisable to buy or rent the equipment or develop the technology on your own to avoid long-term expenses. For this purpose, you will need a research team which can be organized by effective personnel management. In addition, saving on electricity and leisure is imperative to improve the balance sheet.

For Households

Cost cutting can help save money and use it for emergency needs such as education and health. If you are a person living on rent and are paying a large amount each month, you can consider the idea of shifting to a location where the monthly rent and security deposit is less. In addition, you can consider controlling expenses on telephone, cable TV, etc., by being disciplined and focused. In cable TV, you can opt for only the channels which you watch often and get rid of other non-essential TV channels.

You can curtail costs on electricity by switching off lights when not in use. School and college students in the families can use bicycles instead of spending money on petrol or gas. Buying grocery from a cheap department store, reducing expenses on hotels, limiting excessive credit card usage and sticking to just one credit card, creating a shopping limit for yourself are some other techniques you can consider.

If implemented, these ideas will surely help you save more money in the long run. Though, understanding why cost cutting is important and how to go about it is simple, implementing it is tough and requires strict financial planning.