Funding Options For Your Startup

Getting funding for a startup can be difficult, especially if you’re planning on working with a traditional lender. They typically look for high sales volume, strong credit history, and cash reserves. New businesses can tend to struggle when it comes to meeting these requirements. Before you start working with a traditional lender, it’s important that you understand your goals and the financing needs of your company so you can properly evaluate your funding options. Here are a few different ways you can acquire funding for your startup.

SBA Microloan

The Small Business Administration has a variety of loan programs that cater to startups. One of these is the microloan, which can provide a small amount of money to help fund working capital and equipment. Unlike other loans, the requirements for this program are less stringent. It’s even possible to qualify if you have poor credit, such as 629 or lower.

Venture Capital

Since venture capital is typically focused on high-growth companies, it usually only invests in those that are expected to succeed. If the startup doesn’t perform well, the investor’s return on their investment will be lost. Most venture capitalists also want to be on the board of directors of the company they’re financing, while some may even want a larger amount of ownership over the business. If you can get funding via venture capital, make sure you’re aware of the strings attached to it.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns have become extremely popular in the past ten years. Through a crowdfunding campaign, an entrepreneur can raise money for their business through an online fundraising campaign. In addition to giving away products or services, you can also encourage donations by offering gifts from hitting certain fundraising milestones. There are many great crowdfunding campaigns available on the internet, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Small-Business Grant

Grants can be hard to come by as competition for them tends to be high, but if you can acquire one you’ll essentially be getting free money for your startup. Unlike loans, grants don’t have to be paid back, and they can be used for anything your startup needs. If you’re in a niche market, such as minority or female business owners, you may have a better chance of securing a grant.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

Good Questions To Ask When Interviewing Potential Employees For Your Business

It’s time to find a new team member, and the pressure is on to find someone with the necessary skills and experience. However, can you determine if a candidate has the necessary skills and experience from just an interview? Before you start searching, it’s important that you prepare for the eventual interviews you’ll be having. Think about the kind of questions you can ask interviewees in order to properly gauge if they’re a right fit for your company. Check out this blog for a few great examples of questions you should ask the next time you interview a potential employee.

What Do You Know About Our Company?

Despite the abundance of information online, many candidates still don’t do their homework when it comes to assessing a company’s operations. This is why it’s important that you ask a few questions during an interview to get a feel for the candidate’s level of interest in working for you. Some candidates couldn’t care less about the type of job they have, as long as they have a job that pays well. While that’s okay, that may not be what you’re looking for in an employee.

Tell Me About A Time You Had A Disagreement With Your Boss And How You Handled It

One of the most effective questions to ask an interviewee is about a time they disagreed with their boss. This will give you a sense of their ability to resolve their conflict and find common ground. Aside from how they handled the situation, other factors such as their tone and how they communicated with their colleagues will also be taken into account. Emotional intelligence is vital in most jobs, and you want an employee who is able to be respectful and honest with their team and their superiors.

How Would Your Current Boss Describe You?

This may provide you with a sense of the candidate’s relationship with their previous managers. However, it’s also important to note that this information is only a reflection of the candidate’s opinion of the boss. Before you start searching, it’s also important to check references. These are typically the people who will provide you with a good idea of how their experiences align with the candidates.

Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

This last question usually ends the interview. The questions a potential employee asks can be extremely important. It shows that they’re interested in your company and that they’re not necessarily going to take any job that’s offered to them if it isn’t appealing. Most candidates will typically be prepared with a few questions, but if the discussion is lengthy and detailed, they may have already asked their own questions, which is totally fine as well.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

How To Budget After Filing For Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, you are in for a long journey to rebuild your finances and financial stability. But once you have survived your bankruptcy, it’s important to put specific measures in place to get your financial situation back on track. How do you rebuild your finances, and what steps can you take to ensure that you never have to file again? Here are some tips on how you can rebuild your finances by creating a budget. 

Avoid the Plastic Card if You Can 

A credit card can provide a lot of temptation as they are easy ways to spend, and even overspend, your cash flow. When you track your expenditures, it’s crucial to stay away from credit cards. While they may be convenient, they often don’t allow you to realize the damage done until you are staring at your credit card bill. Suppose you can try reverting to the old school method of the “envelope system” of budgeting. When you use the envelope system, you can lay out each of your bills by giving them specific envelopes; each month, you take out cash and put in the bill’s total amount. While it may be archaic, it’s a system that works since it allows you to see what you have to spend physically. 

Tracking Your Expenses 

Once your debt is forgiven, you must create a budget and stick to it permanently to resolve your financial problem. This budget can also help you shed light on areas where your spending needs to be improved. It’s essential to see where your money is going each month physically. 

Cutting Back

If it’s not deemed essential, cut it out. Once you have gone through creating a budget and tracking your expenses, you can easily cut out things that are no longer necessary. This could be things like unnecessary shopping, eating out, etc. Cut back on the luxuries, and once you start to find yourself becoming more stable, you can slowly start adding back in those small luxuries. 

Creating A Savings 

Saving is often thought of as the golden ticket when it comes to surviving your bankruptcy. It would be best if you started saving as much as you can. Your budget will help you with this feat. You should be able to save at least 10% of your take-home income while you are attempting to rebuild your finances. With that, you should only be spending around ⅔ of your salary on your fixed expenses, and others go to your recurring expenditures. 

Keep your mind on surviving the bankruptcy; that is your primary goal at the end of this. Don’t be tempted away from your budget, but right now, you need it more than ever. Once you get your budget set, it’s essential to stick with it, and it will help you get a firm grasp on recovering your finances. 

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Habits Found In Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship has skyrocketed in popularity over the years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way a lot of people think about their careers. In a way, entrepreneurship is more accessible than it’s ever been. The internet and social media have made the ability to start your own business easier than ever, whether you’re just looking for a side hustle or want to make running a business your new career. With that being said, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have certain habits that are naturally useful in running a business. Not sure if you have any of those habits? Look no further. Here are a few habits that are commonly seen in successful entrepreneurs.

Good Money Management

One of the most important factors that entrepreneurs must consider when it comes to money management is being able to maintain a steady flow of cash. This is not just about being cheap, but it also means being able to avoid going broke when the business is starting to realize its full potential.

It’s also important to remember that every dollar that you spend is helping you reach your goals. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have lived below their means because they’d rather invest their money in furthering their business goals as opposed to living the high life. 

They Have Routines

Having a consistent routine can help you be more productive during the day. It can help prepare your body and mind for the next step, and it can improve your health. Having a set of routines can also help keep you focused on your goals and prevents you from getting too tired. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs create and stick to routines that help keep their energy levels up and their brains ready to take on the next challenge.

They Stay Up To Date

One of the most important factors that you can control when it comes to running a successful business is making sure that you’re up to date on the latest industry news and trends. Having this information will allow you to make better decisions for your company. Today’s business world is constantly changing, regardless of what industry you’re in. It’s important that you stay up to date with these constant shifts if you want to keep your business afloat.

They Know When To Take A Break

According to studies, people spend around 3.5 hours a day on the internet. For entrepreneurs, this figure is higher. Unfortunately, studies also suggest that the more time that you spend on social media and online, the more likely that you will develop depression.

To avoid these things happening, it’s important that you take a break from your computer or phone for a few hours each day. This can help you recharge and connect with the world around you. It can also help you manage your stress levels. After taking a break, you can jump back into your work ready to take on the next challenge without burning yourself out.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

Tips For Hiring Your First Employee

Hiring your first employee is a huge step for any startup. It shows that you’re willing to take on more risk in order to make your idea a reality. It also shows that your business is beginning to grow. But hiring that first employee can be a difficult process. You need to find someone that understands what they’re getting themselves into, that is passionate about your company’s mission, and is willing to put in the work to achieve the company’s goals. So how do you do that? Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Hire As Soon As You Can

Even if it’s a bit tight, hire someone as soon as possible. Having someone on board will allow you to focus on the things that are most important to you, and they’ll give you the necessary boost of creativity and brainpower to get the job done.

Many founders are reluctant to hire even when they know that they’re overworked. This can lead to them kicking themselves after realizing that they’re not getting enough done.

Don’t Just Look At Track Record

One of the most important traits of a skilled hiring manager is his or her ability to see potential. This includes looking for someone with a passion for missions and causes that are similar to yours, and someone who has the necessary skills to excel at what they’re doing.

One of the most important factors that a hiring manager should consider is finding someone who is passionate about their passions and skills. Even if a person has not yet found a way to fully unleash themselves, if their position can help them do so, they’ll most likely see results. It shouldn’t always be about the person you’re hiring’s track record.

Make Them Part Of The Team, Not Just An Employee

When hiring your first employee, you have a major choice to think about. You can either consider them an employee, who will be expected to perform certain tasks or a member of the team that has dedicated their time to making the company’s vision a reality. While yes, they’re ultimately an employee of the company, it’s better to look at them as someone who is passionate about helping the company meet their goals as opposed to another body who comes into the office, gets their job done, and goes home. They should be a part of major business decisions, and they should be treated as an equal, not an underling.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

Red Flags That May Indicate An Upcoming Bankruptcy

To start, what is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a legal process that a debtor has entered into to solve their financial problems. In the United States, bankruptcy has become one of the most popular alternatives for resolving debt issues. Because of this, many consumers and businesses have begun to understand the different characteristics of bankruptcy and the signs associated with it. Still, it’s important to look and understand the signs closely.

Knowing these indicators and how they impact your decision to file for bankruptcy may prove to be very helpful in assisting you in making the best possible financial decision.

Indicators that Bankruptcy Might be Necessary

Inability to Pay Bills

The first and perhaps most obvious of the red flags that may indicate that an individual may be preparing to file for bankruptcy is the inability to pay their bills. Many individuals filing for bankruptcy are actually experiencing financial difficulties related to the credit cards and consumer loans they have made.

Typically, when a consumer’s account falls behind, they try to contact the credit card companies and other lenders to rectify the situation. Some companies will allow you to fix the credit situation, but not all will.

Diminishing Income 

Another indicator of potential bankruptcy in the process is diminishing income level. Whether you may be facing the possibility of a looming financial crisis may be indicated by funds in the household decreasing. Typically, this is due to job loss. 

Once a consumer’s income has dropped, they may begin to look at their various assets and begin to liquidate some of them to raise money to prevent a large-scale financial loss.

While this strategy may work in some cases, it is important to keep in mind that it will simply result in a loss of thousands of dollars worth of assets in the majority of cases. While the goal of any individual looking to prevent bankruptcy may be to have enough money to cover their debts, liquidating all of your assets will not help to accomplish this goal. It’s important to be honest with yourself in this situation to know if this applies to you.

Conclusion

There are a wide variety of causes that can lead to bankruptcy.  It’s important to talk to a financial expert or bankruptcy lawyer to see what options are available for you.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The Process of Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy involves more than paying a filing fee and listing creditors. It’s paperwork-intensive, quite complicated and should involve you consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.

The Process of Filing Bankruptcy

Before beginning the bankruptcy process, here is what to do:

1. Gather Necessary Documentation and Information

One needs to gather information on their income and debts from the following documents:

  • Past six months of paychecks
  • Past two years of income tax filed returns
  • Copies of all current due bills
  • Copies of documents that creditors sent
  • Credit reports

2. Estimating the Value of Assets

One must provide a list of their possessions and estimates of value, no matter their worth. For automobiles and real estate, online valuation estimates may be enough. But for household items and personal items like valuable art, clothing, jewelry, you may need an appraisal.

3. Calculating Expenses

You’re required to provide your monthly expenses for things such as:

  • Insurance
  • Lease or car loan payment
  • Mortgage or Rent
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Gas and maintenance
  • Medical expenses

4. Completing the Bankruptcy Petition, Schedules and Statements

This is the more difficult part.  And I reiterate – though you’re not required to – you should probably hire an attorney to handle the entire filing process for you.  You can lose assets if the papers are not completed correctly, or if you complete papers for the wrong chapter of bankruptcy.

5. Take the Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Course

Every individual who files for bankruptcy, must complete a credit counseling course before filing.  The course can be completed via telephone or online and usually can be done in 90 minutes or less.

What to Expect After Filing for Bankruptcy

Once you file for bankruptcy, you receive a number for your case. Creditors will also get a notice of the filing. A few days after filing for bankruptcy, a meeting will be set for you to meet with the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors, if any of them decide to appear. 

The final step is receiving a discharge order, which frees you of all dischargeable debt.  You will receive the discharge order about 3 – 4 months after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  You will receive a discharge order in a chapter 13 case after you’ve made all your plan payments, which typically takes 3 – 5 years.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The 8 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Knows

Successful entrepreneurs all have a few qualities in common. What is it that sets successful ones apart from the unsuccessful ones? You might be wondering if you have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur in today’s world. If so, here is what you need to know about the qualities of successful entrepreneurs

  • Discipline

Regardless of the product, they create or the business they are in, all successful entrepreneurs are disciplined. They stay focused on their goals and work hard, even when it would be easier to quit. They do not allow excuses or fear of failure get in the way of their achievements, but instead, work through every hardship.

  • Internally Motivated

Successful entrepreneurs are also internally motivated. They do not have bosses to answer to or a certain number of hours to clock in every week. They rely solely on their internal drive to push them every day. 

  • Passionate

Another quality that all successful entrepreneurs share is passion. They love their work and are willing to put in the effort it takes to see their dreams become a reality. They will often work around the clock because they genuinely want to spend their time pouring into their businesses. 

  • Relational

Most successful entrepreneurs also put a strong emphasis on relationships. They generally recognize that they cannot be successful on their own. They need to build teams of people around them, as well as networks of other business owners.

  • Risk-taking

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to take risks. It’s also essential to have good instincts regarding which risks to take and which risks should be avoided. Successful entrepreneurs have all taken significant risks, and they haven’t allowed themselves to be deterred, even if those risks didn’t pay off.

  • Innovative

Successful entrepreneurs are also innovative. When something doesn’t work out as they planned, they find a new way to do it. Even when they have a good product, they are continually looking for ways to make it better. They strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of their business. 

  • Competitive

Successful entrepreneurs all have a competitive spirit. They thrive on challenges and enjoy winning. They aren’t afraid of other businesses in the same market because they believe they can beat them through hard work and innovation. 

  • Willingness to Fail

Lastly, successful entrepreneurs are willing to fail because they recognize that failure is an essential part of success. If a person is paralyzed by the idea of failure, they will almost certainly fail as an entrepreneur. You must shift your perspective and begin to see failure as a stepping stone on the path to success, rather than a roadblock.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

Bankruptcy Alternatives Amidst The Pandemic

The pandemic has affected almost everyone financially in some way. Many people do not have friends they can borrow money from seeing as most of the people they know are also experiencing financial turmoil. The government has tried to alleviate the problem by offering unemployment reliefs and payrolls for small businesses, but it is not enough. Here are some ways people can avoid or delay bankruptcy during these times.

Inform the Mortgage Lender in Due Time

Someone who has been laid off and cannot pay their monthly rent or mortgage should quickly inform their mortgage lender. The lender may agree to give you a forbearance – a temporary period during which no mortgage payments are due.

Pay the Credit Card Minimum

You should put some amount away to pay your credit card minimum any time you receive a government relief. During the crisis, it is advised that unemployed people should not pay more than required toward their credit cards. And, if at all possible, stop using credit cards.  The interests charged on the credit card can hurt an individual’s financial stability

Consider an Inexpensive Car

If someone is unemployed, they are probably not using their car as often. However, many people still have to run errands with their vehicle even when they are not going to work. Therefore, car expenses may be drastically reduced. Yet with little to no source of income, the individual may want to trade in the car and get a cheaper one. The economy will eventually recover, and one can always get another car. The most important thing for now, however, is surviving.

Look for an Alternative Job

The lockdown has driven many companies to develop new opportunities that all employees can explore. It can be easy to sit back and wait for the economy to improve before finding another job. However, this should not be the case. An individual should identify their skills and find out what they can do right now. For example, there are many work-from-home jobs that now exist, such as web design, proofreading, content writing, and much more.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

How To Alleviate Debt From The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic plunged millions of Americans into financial chaos. The sudden decrease in income has made it difficult – and for some impossible – to pay expenses. Here are some tips for alleviating your debt during the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Contact Your Creditors. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most credit card companies and mortgage lenders offer assistance to customers. Some utility companies are offering help as well. Contact your creditors and ask if they have a COVID-19 assistance plan.
  1. Get Unemployment. President Trump signed The CARES Act on March 27, 2020. CARES gives states the option to extend unemployment benefits to workers who are usually ineligible – such as independent contractors. Your state’s unemployment insurance office can tell you if these benefits are available in your state.
  1. Speak with Your Landlord. Federal and local governments are making an effort to halt some evictions up until December 31, 2020. An order called “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” went into effect on September 4, 2020. 

The order has strict rules about which tenants are covered. Tenants ineligible for the order may possibly have state eviction protection. If any eviction protection doesn’t cover you, speak with your landlord as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

  1. Contact Your Car Loan Lender. Some car loan lenders are allowing borrowers to defer loan payments. For example, Ford Motor Credit is offering payment extensions and waiving late fees upon request. And Wells Fargo Bank is waiving late fees and offering payment deferments for three-months. Contact your lender and see if they’re assisting borrowers affected by the pandemic.
  1. Request Student Loan Forbearance or Deferment. A student loan deferment allows you to stop paying the principal or interest on your loan temporarily. Submit a request for deferment to your loan provider. For a Federal Perkins Loan, submit your request to the financial aid office at your school.

If you don’t qualify for a deferment, request student loan forbearance. Forbearance temporarily reduces your monthly payment for up to a year or gives you the option to stop paying on the principal temporarily. If forbearance or deferment aren’t best for your situation, consider an income-driven repayment plan if you’re working.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org