Making Money Ideas – Small Businesses

Basically there are no easy ways or skipping steps towards making money. A profitable business can increase the sales by employing a professional but if your business is at the edge of struggle then you may need some money making ideas to continue generating income.

There is no absolute channel to make quick money, especially if you are a business owner. No doubt, if your business is doing well then you have no worries to continue producing money from the employment of more experts. But if you are a beginner or is balancing your float in the business field, then you should give a try to some business ideas.

Among the many make money ideas, one of the foremost is to get your customers say yes to you. Try to ask direct questions that require a yes or no and ask them in a way where more likely the answer will be a yes. Most of the time after several agreement from your customers, it is much easier to continue persuading them into the purchase or at least show more commitment towards the product.

Another money making idea is to repeatedly staying in touch. This suggestion is asking you to have contact with every client after a successful trade. Instead, try to stay connected with your customers to update yourself about ongoing things besides grabbing any business opportunities. A brief follow up conversation with your clients could be an excellent arsenal towards making a profit.

Besides the two listed make money ideas, as a businessman, you should never hesitate to offer a guarantee. Offering guarantee or providing a trial offer to your customers is a rather effective idea to make money. Besides boosting their confidence, they can try out the product or service before deciding upon the purchase. This may be a good selling point as customers’ confidence is pretty contagious so the spread of news will help increase your sales.

Apart of that, there is one money making idea called opening the doors with smaller sales. If you are a beginner in the entrepreneurial field or have yet to gain popularity, you may first focus on the small sale to earn a new customer. Perhaps you can offer a free or inexpensive trial on the product or service to attract your clients. Besides, this can be a survey platform as to understand the customers’ needs and wants thus business owners can plan and arrange business strategies to expand the business sales.

How to Find Small Business Ideas That Match Your Assets and Skills (Part One)

Finding the right small business opportunities ideas that suit you most and with big potential markets before investing your hard earned money is crucial. This step is one of the most important steps you need to perform. Although this step can be a difficult one, it also can be a rewarding one. For that reason you need to be careful. It is the foundation of your business and you need to get it right the first time to save time money and effort.

Business ideas are everywhere you go. But, how do you discover the small business opportunities ideas that suits your skills set, your personal objectives, can be profitable and will be HOT for years to come?

Finding a niche idea needs some search and it’s not hard as you think. The following methods will show you tons of different niche marketing ideas that you can choose from to start your niche business.

Rule of thumb

People like to learn almost about anything. They like to learn about your expertise, other cultures, other people, all sports, products, services, history, health, fitness, etc…. People like to learn about things that are meaningful to them, and they like to explore new horizon. Give them what whey want and you will be in your way to success!

1 – Create a Business About What You Already Know and Then Become the Expert!

“If you work on something you love, you don’t have to work a single day in your life.”

Take an honest look at what you are good at. What hobbies or interests do you have or have you had in the past? What did you learn in your day job? Are you a good cooker? Do you raise kids? Etc…

Try different things and discover what you really enjoy doing and what makes you happy. Ask friends and family for their opinion and they will tell you on what you are good at.

If you don’t have any expertise or hobby to turn into a business (what is very rare) you can turn your problems or challenges into profitable business also.

Most of inventions in the word came out of problems and challenges the inventors were having in their lives.

“There is a great marketer that I know who turns his high blood pressure sickness into profitable business. You see the picture!”

The best way to make good money online is to create value in others’ lives. Give a solution for any problem to make others’ lives easier and they will give you their money.

You see! You can turn anything into a business just don’t under estimate any subject.

Make a list of all what you enjoy doing or what problem you came a cross. Don’ think about how you are going to make money doing those things yet.

If you are really passionate about starting a business of your own and still having hard time trying to figure out which small business opportunities ideas are right for you because you don’t find a subject that you can easily talk about. You still can find a way to start your business.

Here are some places where you can pick up ideas to help you find your way.

2 – Getting Small Business Opportunities Ideas From Magazines.

Magazines are a good source of small business opportunities ideas. Publishers don’t publish magazines that don’t make money. To earn profits, magazines must have subscribers and advertisers. Make sure the niche magazine you prefer has been around for a year or so. That way you know there is an existing market to your niche.

You may look for the repeat ads in magazines. People don’t advertise products if they do not make money doing it.

3 – Visit directories and Online Portals and You Will Find Plenty of Small Business Opportunities Ideas.

Directories are good places where you can get ideas. Search beyond major industrial sectors and look at sub-categories within each and see which one much your ability, your skills or you like most.

Visit dmoz.org, Yahoo.com or any other directory of your choice. Drill down some categories and sub-categories to find potential niche markets. These sites have huge categories lists, which you can use for ideas.

Online portals are also good places where you can pick small business opportunities ideas. Go to eBay.com and drill down through the categories. Each category is broken down to sub-categories. Click on the category of your choice and see how many sub-niches are available for you to choose from.

Amazon.com is a huge online retailer that sells a huge range of products such as ebooks, music, video, DVD, electronic goods, etc. It’s divided into a large number of niches. There you will find huge choice of small business ideas. Make a few notes of potential areas you might consider.

4 – Visit forums.

Forums are also good places where you can pick excellent business ideas. Look for the most asked question. Find out what forums’ users common problem. Ask questions to find out what they are thinking, what they are craving, and what irritates them. This way you can pick a good idea and go with it.

5 – Use Lycos Search engine.

The top 50 list of Lycos is a great way to find what people are searching for. They also keep archives. Here is the URL:

If you’re just starting out don’t try to compete with the top 50 that are listed, but with a little imagination, you can come up with sub topics based on what Lycos tells you. If you keep looking long enough, you might even find some patterns and be able to figure out some of the future top searches.

6 – Ask For Help.

– Ask questions, life is about asking questions, not about knowing answers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something.

– Ask for help when you are having difficulties. Most people like to help others and will willingly offer information and assistance particularly when the individual is grateful for their help.

– Search for free info products using your favorite search engine and you will find plenty of quality free ebooks, reports, magazines, newsletters, etc… that can help you find great business ideas.

You still don’t find any subject that you know to talk about to turn into profitable business! Ok, if you are passionate about starting your home business you still find a way…

Learn About What You Like to Do.

When visiting these places find out what are some things you don’t know but have burning desire to learn more about. Collect as many information as possible about your topic of interest and start learning. The net is offering wealth of FREE and low cost information designed to educate people about any subject they want.

As you can see, there is a wealth of tools and places where you can go to get ideas for your niche. Just take action in whatever way makes sense for your situation and your life. If you take action you will never fail!

Spend, as much time as you can, think carefully about your topic to make sure it is the right selection. You’re planning a business. So, don’t rush it.

Create a list of at least 20 potential niches ideas. Write down as many information as you need about all small business opportunities ideas you consider.

Now, you are ready to go to the next step. Your next step is to make sure which ideas are profitable to turn into wining business.

Go Commercial – How To Cash In On A Growing Market

To add a little oomph to business these days, LO’s are turning away from the residential realm and focusing their efforts on potentially bigger fish – the commercial arena. Find out the differences between the two markets – from documentation to financing – and why you should line up to tap these unchartered waters. As a bonus, a commercial originator in action shares his words of warning before stepping into bigger territory.

With the subprime fallout, amped up regulation and a slowing residential market, many originators are feeling the squeeze of increased competition and fewer deals.

“Many brokers are making the transition into small commercial lending as a way to serve their existing clients better, and to branch out into a growing market,” said Reed Larsen, vice president of Homeland Mortgage Inc. and Homeland Funding Corp. “Many mortgage brokers have worked hard to build good relationships with their clients over the years, particularly with small business owners and self-employed borrowers who need the kind of expertise and the level of service that good brokers provide. These entrepreneurial clients often ask their brokers about commercial loans, and brokers would rather close those loans than send their hard-earned clients down the road to a competitor.”

What’s the difference?

While both residential and commercial brokers seek to find loan deals for individuals buying property, the methods to get these loans are very different.

Forms

According to Kristin Williams, of Silver Hill Financial LLC, residential deals all require the same forms.
“It’s very standardized,” she said. “1003, 1008, VOD, VOE, etc. But in commercial, each company has their own separate set of documents they require.” In commercial, the deals are all non-standardized and individualized.

Finding value

When it comes to finding comparable in the residential realm, Williams said it is usually easy and quick.

“Traditionally, residential properties are very cookie cutter so you can get several appraisals done very quickly — because there are so many comparable properties out there,” she said. “In commercial, buildings are extremely unique. Appraisal time takes much longer because it’s harder to find similar property types.”

This can lead to more complex, more thorough appraisals — up to 100 pages long — which can take up to four weeks and cost between $1,500 and $4,000.

Calculating loan amounts

According to Williams, residential loans consider extensive loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, sometimes 100 to 115 percent.

However, in commercial, “traditionally, LTVs are very limited just because of the riskiness of the transaction,” she said. “They offer lower LTVs to lower their risk. About 75 percent, sometimes 80 percent is the highest LTV for commercial.”

Also, residential originators consider a borrower’s debt-to-income (DTI) ratio by assessing the individual’s personal income. In a commercial transaction, however, a debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) is assessed, which considers how much a property or business occupying the space must have to cover its debt.

What can be financed?

While every financial institution is different, many consider the following to be eligible property types for funding: Multifamily, mixed-use, office, retail, self-storage, light industrial, bed and breakfast, warehouse, mobile home park, industrial, funeral home, flagged hospitality, rooming house, health care, day care, RV park, unflagged hospitality, restaurant, and gas stations.

In Silver Hill’s case, the following are considered ineligible properties and it would not provide funding: traditional churches, raw land and farms, construction, development, rehab and adult entertainment facilities.

It is best to ask your lender before continuing with the transaction.

How does financing work?

While traditionally, residential brokers can obtain funding with a local lender, LOs need to do a little investigative work to find the best deals for their client. What financing sources are available to commercial brokers?

Banks

“Traditional banks and credit unions are great at offering loans at very competitive rates for your higher-credit-score client,” Williams said. “However, they do have some specific guidelines of the types of properties and the loam amounts. Lots of times, the riskier the property type, the less opportunity you have at a traditional bank.”

Banks also charge a large good faith fee before the loan is even processed, sometimes upwards of $5,000.

SBA loans

SBA loans are multi-faceted if someone wants to pay for the building, business or equipment all in one. It is also good as a standard business loan to provide funding for disaster relief. However, SBA loans take a lot of time — up to 3 months — to finish and requires a lot of documentation.

Private/hard money lenders

Private/hard money lenders are the last-stop shop that is great for high-credit-risk clients, Williams said. They are also bankruptcy or foreclosure friendly.

“They get the loan done quickly,” Williams said. “However, the loan terms are the least favorable with extremely high interest rates — upwards of 15 percent — and the loan balance will come due at a very short period of time.”

There is also a lock-out period that freezes the client from refinancing.

Small-balance commercial lenders

“The credit requirements are a little more acceptable (with a small-balance commercial lender),” Williams said. “They will provide your clients more options and get your loans done quicker.”

Williams did say, however, that all small-balance commercial lenders have their own set of requirements and procedures and it is important to research them and educate the client before going forward.

Buddying up

Finding a good commercial lender may be easier than originators think, as many are reaching out to brokers — teaching them how to make the residential-to-commercial change and establishing referral relationships.

“As small business in America continues to expand, commercial lenders are reaching out to educate and train mortgage brokers on how to originate commercial loans both as a way to build a viable sales channel into the small commercial market, and as a way to leverage the good relationships brokers have already built with their entrepreneurial clients,” Larsen said. “Lenders are making it easier for brokers to make the transition, by simplifying the application requirements, providing classes, distributing marketing materials and program information, and coaching brokers through the commercial loan process from start to finish.”

Benefits of going commercial

“(Commercial) is the ideal arena for accommodating the skills and experiences of residential mortgage brokers,” said Joe Mardesich, president and CEO of Nationwide Commercial Funding, a national mortgage brokerage. “There are numerous advantages for being in the commercial mortgage business.”

Less sensitive to interest rates

The residential loan business is highly sensitive to interest rates, Mardesich said. The higher the rates, the lower will be the number of homeowners who refinance, take out equity loans or consolidate debt. And though the purchase loan business is still available, it may eventually slow if rates rise to a point where fewer people will be able to qualify as home purchasers.

In the commercial mortgage sector, however, rising rates do not have the considerable negative impact that exists in the residential mortgage sector.

“First, most commercial mortgages have balloon payments,” Mardesich said. “Most commercial borrowers have no choice but to refinance or to sell, regardless of where rates may be, every 5 to 10 years. Both selling and refinancing result in new loans, which of course. mean income for the commercial broker.

“Second, commercial real estate owners and investors make their money by buying, selling, exchanging, developing and refinancing. They don’t stop doing deals as rates move up or down. They find ways to have increased interest costs covered by their tenants or other end-users of their properties. Homeowners, by contrast, want to buy a place in which to live and must factor interest costs into their budgets. If interest rates put homeownership out of their reach, they will remain renters, tenants of those who utilize commercial mortgages.

“Third, as indicated above, rising rates can actually increase rental demand and revenue for the owners of apartments, mobile home parks, and certain other types of properties. The beneficiary is not only the owner, the developer of apartments, and the developer/owner of mobile home parks, but also the mortgage brokers who help to finance those properties.”

Growing competition in the residential mortgage business

According to Mardesich, more and more real estate agents are competing with mortgage brokers.

“The numbers increase daily,” he said. “With the Internet, people can shop online and have 5 or 6 lenders or brokers competing for their business with a mouse click. The loan products you and your competitors sell are all the same, because the secondary market is so consolidated in the residential industry. The residential mortgage business has become a frantic ‘commodity’ business, providing revenue to the lowest bidder.”

In the commercial mortgage business, however, the lowest bidder is not necessarily king. There is much less competition than in residential real estate. And there are many portfolio lenders who do not sell their loans to a consolidated secondary market, i.e. there are a great variety of available programs from one lender or broker to another. As a result, by specializing and developing a niche, you can develop a meaningful competitive edge, Mardesich said.

Less regulation in commercial

The residential industry is chock full of rules and regulations.

However, in the commercial mortgage business, you don’t have to worry about the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. There are no Good Faith Estimates. No TILAs. You can pay referral fees to anyone, regardless of the service they may perform. Yield spreads are generally not disclosed. Most states do not require any licensing for commercial mortgage brokers, Mardesich said.

The rewards of commercial

The rewards of the commercial mortgage business can be substantial, impacting income and lifestyle. Yet, comparatively few residential brokers are reaping the rewards that await them in the field of commercial mortgages.

According to Williams, commercial brokers who close with Silver Hill average a commission of $10,400, compared to the $3,000-$8,000 with a residential loan.

“Brokers know that the market is strong and growing,” Larsen said. “They see commercial lending as a great way to serve their existing clients better, provide a more complete array of lending products to new customers, and continue to grow despite the recent woes of the residential lending market. It has never been easier for a good residential loan broker to step up to commercial lending.

Five Small Business Finance Tips

Owning a small business involves much more than coming up with and implementing a business idea. Small business owners quickly learn that a huge part of their role as the owner of a business means learning how to take care of the financials. Here are several tips for small business owners who want to learn the best practices for managing their business’ finances:

1) Bookkeeping

To the dismay of many business owners, the ancient art of bookkeeping isn’t going anywhere. Fortunately, bookkeeping has become much easier. Bookkeeping programs can make the process much easier, but there are still certain fundamental rules that business owners must take into account. Firstly, business owners must always keep a record of all of the invoices processed by their business as well as the expenses they have incurred, such as raw materials, salaries, and operating expenses. While there is no solid rule for how to keep track of earnings and expenses, what matters most is that you keep track of your finances in a consistent fashion and that everything is written down. This is arguably the most important part of owning a small business.

2) Don’t Over-Exaggerate Your Earnings

When working with investors, banks, or other financial lenders, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to exaggerate your business’ earnings. These lenders need to know how likely you are to repay the money they have lent you when making their decision about whether or not to lend it in the first place. Lying or exaggerating about your earnings will only harm you and the lender in the long run.

3) Make Sure All Of Your Funding is Backed by a Legal Contract

Regardless of where you are going to receive funding, you need to ensure that the terms of your financial agreements are written down on a contract. Unfortunately, things can become troublesome during the repayment process and it is therefore urgent that you and your lender lay out terms in the beginning that you must adhere to later on. This keeps both sides accountable and also ensures that both sides know exactly what they are getting into before the money starts circulating.

4) Cash Flow

A successful small business always maintains a sufficient amount of cash on hand to take care of daily operations and unexpected expenses. However, many businesses that have been successful in receiving funding find that the money they are lent covers already-existing expenses but doesn’t quite leave enough cash left over to keep on hand. This is why small business owners are familiar with the feeling of being stuck somewhere between outstanding invoices and bills that are past-due. One option for small business owners is to use a merchant cash advance. These types of business cash advances can provide small businesses with additional cash flow to meet these expenses or to grow their business, and they are repaid through future credit card receivables. This is an important option to consider for many small business owners who have been denied other forms of funding.

5) When to Process Credit Cards

The short answer: Now! Being cash-only is extremely inconvenient for most customers. While setting up a credit card processing system can be costly, your customers may find it more convenient to go to your competitor’s business once they learn that your business doesn’t process credit cards. Furthermore, using credit cards at your business functions as an instant line of credit and means less hassle and paperwork for your business. This can cut down on lengthy credit approval processes. Also, there are additional types of funding available for businesses who process credit card transactions as opposed to those who don’t.