Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Minority Grants For Business

Minority grants are really important for they contribute a lot to the overall progress of national economy. Most of these helpful grants assist in the growth and development of new businesses, and thereby encourage entrepreneurship, to a large extent. Government funded grants for minorities are widely accessible from the Federal ministry. In addition to it, various other grant schemes are available from different state level authorities as well.

If you belong to a minority section of the community, there can be lots of options before you avail of one of these really helpful grants. As an entrepreneur belonging to the minority section, one must avail of these grants specially crafted to cater a lot of help, to the growth of business. A bulk of these grants offered is funded directly by the federal ministry, and some by the state government itself. However, to avail of one of these hugely popular grants, one must go through certain formalities.

Being a first time applicant for minority grants, one must target those specific programs which are focused to be the concerned area. It can just turn out to be the starting point of the business. These grants which are available from the local organizations, need to fulfill certain criteria as well. One must thoroughly go through the requisite application format, before applying for one of these grants.

One of the best and well-known minority grants available to individuals, who have a passion for setting up their own business comes from an organization called "Operation HOPE". Till now, they have aided close to $72 million in minority grants, to business owners and entrepreneurs belonging to minorities. If you reside in Southern California, you can pay a visit to "Operation HOPE". However, if you need to procure information on the available grants, while sitting at a remote location, their website can serve the purpose as well. But in both the circumstances do not forget to check out the eligibility criteria before applying.

Minority grants are meant to encourage entrepreneurship for medium and small scale business groups as well as individuals belonging to the marginalized sections of the population. These Grants not only help to build up the confidence of an individual belonging to minority sections, but also help in overall economic stability.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4293441

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheap auto insurance: understand your options before you buy

Women entrepreneurs have grown at a rate three times the growth rate for overall U.S. businesses according to the Center for Women's Business Research. Many more young women entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses right out of school. A host of colleges and universities are introducing programs geared to entrepreneurship. Because women are still having trouble reaching the top levels of corporate management they have found a way around the glass ceiling by opening their own companies.

Although traditional lending institutes prefer to lend money to people who get business and management experience before they go into business the advent of the internet has reduced the cost of doing business significantly. The advantage of the internet for small business is that it is fast and relatively inexpensive. If you want to put an ad in a major national magazine it would cost thousands of dollars. You could target an ad to readers of that same national magazine for as little as $50 on the internet. While the preparation time for an ad in the national magazine may be three months in advance, a Google ad is instant. It is hard to track the response with the national magazine. With Google you can start testing quickly.

Women entrepreneurs run into problems growing their business. They are not traveling in the same networking circles or socializing in the same clubs and golf courses as male business owners, so they're not hearing about the opportunities to raise money and to grow their business. Also, women learned how to manage money by the way they manage their household budgets where the only way to increase their disposable money or increase savings was to be frugal. Many have grown their businesses without borrowing.

Women need to change their views about borrowing money to finance growth. Everyone understands borrowing money to finance a car to handle sales calls or other business needs. Borrowing money should be viewed as a vehicle to get from one stage of business to another stage of growth much like a car goes from one sales call to another.

The types of business women are starting continue to be in the service and retail area. Women have trouble proving themselves in industries traditionally dominated by males, such as, construction, manufacturing, farming or other physically labor intense businesses. The hardest part for women is convincing a client to put them on the approved vendor or bid list. To overcome this obstacle women entrepreneurs can join organizations that support women-owned minority businesses such as the WBC (Women's Business Council). These organizations have sponsors that go all out to support minorities as part of their corporate culture and image.

Women entrepreneurs starting their own business need all the help they can get and should not be afraid to ask for it

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3646380

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Hardest Thing For an Entrepreneur

For an entrepreneur the hardest thing to do is to get started. In this final article, Part 3 of three articles, I explain how I have seen others find the same key to entrepreneurship.

As I applied myself to finding, developing if necessary, and selling the software products and services of the software technologies business my wife and I owned I noticed that I was one of a minority. Not many people started their own companies. Entrepreneurs were a minority. They still are. For example I was the only one from my business school class who was self employed. The rest of my MBA class mates had jobs. In almost all respects, except one, my MBA classmates were better off than me. I was paying myself a pittance and ploughing any money that my company made back into hiring new people and buying the associated computing equipment. My classmates had high powered executive jobs and enjoyed good salaries. But there was one thing I could do that my classmates could not do: I could do what I wanted when I wanted even if I had to constrain what I wanted to my very meager, entrepreneurial, financial means.

Little did I know.

After seven years I surpassed my classmates' freedom and income levels. I was semi-retired. Best of all, I would never look back. The the dream I offered people I hired, the people they hired, all were critical factors in entrepreneurial success.

So I found that the second element in the key to successful entrepreneurship is to 'keep going.'

During that seven year period I wondered when financial independence would happen. I never wondered IF it would happen. Long afterwards I learned that both my wife and a key director in our company had been one step away from throwing in the towel in the fifth year of that seven year period. When I found out, I was amazed. My wife and the key director are serious people. They would have been serious when they considered quitting. In retrospect I thought they were extremely fortunate that quitting never occurred to me.

Since then, some of my business school classmates have started their own businesses. One is very successful although his business is predicated on expensively high inventory levels as a method of ensuring good customer service. Each classmate who started a business has had to overcome the hardest thing: getting started.

Over the years I met many aspiring entrepreneurs. One, Mr Graeme Hart, became New Zealand's first billionaire and is now the wealthiest man in New Zealand. Graeme got started early in life. Apparently, in his twenties, with no formal qualifications, Graeme began buying and selling businesses in New Zealand. He kept going; and his experience illustrates the second element in the key to entrepreneurial success.

In 1997 in a colossal blunder that threatened to destroy him, Graeme purchased hundreds of millions of dollars of shares in, Burns Philp, an Australian listed company. It was a dud but this was not evident to Graeme at the time. Despite the naysayers and business media ridicule, Graeme took the chairman's seat in the company and his astute stewardship of the company transformed it into a billion dollar investment. That's why I say the second hardest thing for an entrepreneur is to keep going. After all no-one else is going to keep going on behalf of an entrepreneur.

I have also met aspiring entrepreneurs who were excessively well researched and far too concerned about the adequacy of their capital funding and cash buffers. One entrepreneurial family saved about $NZ60,000. It was start-up capital for a specialised catering business. The family asked me for advice. Should they wait a little longer and save another $20,000 so as to purchase the best catering equipment and sign a lease on big, flashy, premises with wonderful cooking facilities? Or should they get started with their $NZ60,000 grub stake? You can guess what advice I gave: get started today; put your money away; persuade your suppliers to lend you all the equipment and materials; persuade them to advance enough credit so you don't have to use your capital.

The family never came back to me and, to this day, I doubt if they got started.

An extremely entrepreneurial woman asked me for advice about her specialised entertainment and professional services directory business. The woman hired a marketing and sales manager to sell hundreds of copies of the directory. But profitable sales eluded the sales manager. Without sales the business staggered fatally under the overheads and expenses load. The business lacked a pulse; cash flow was negative. If there is one thing I always, somehow, understood from the first day of my company's life, it is that cash flow is the most important objective result in a business. Profits can be zero, customer service can be terrible, and marketing can be non existent, but as long as cash flow is positive then a business will continue to operate. For this reason, I always made it my priority to make, or help make, sales. Without sales, the directory business entrepreneur could not keep going and close-down was inevitable.

Now you know why the hardest thing for an entrepreneur is to get started. And the second hardest thing is to keep going.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3120435