startup http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8572/all en-US Is Now the Time to Start Your Own Business? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-now-the-time-to-start-your-own-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/is-now-the-time-to-start-your-own-business-joanne-berg" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/is-now-the-time-to-sta...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/is-now-the-time-to-start-your-own-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011686181XSmall.jpg" alt="Businesspeople watching a clock" title="Businesspeople watching a clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Nothing else in the world... not all the armies... is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.&quot; &mdash; Victor Hugo</p> <p s="">&ldquo;Timing is everything.&rdquo; &mdash; William Shakespeare</p> <p>Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes a large investment of money, time, and hard work.&nbsp;Like many other things in life, your chances of success are much better when the timing is right.</p> <p>So, how will you know if &ldquo;the time has come&rdquo; for <em>your</em> idea?</p> <p>Here are a few things to consider:</p> <h3>Why do you want to start a business?</h3> <p>You would be surprised how many potential business owners can&rsquo;t respond to this clearly. The time is right when you understand the answer and have put together a plan for the business that shows how it meets your business <em>and</em> your personal goals.</p> <h3>What is your risk profile?</h3> <p>Be honest with yourself about how much risk you can tolerate. Many entrepreneurs fail several times before creating a successful business.&nbsp;You&rsquo;ll know it&rsquo;s the right time to start your new venture when you&rsquo;ve carefully analyzed the risks of the new business idea, and you are comfortable with taking that amount of risk.</p> <h3>What type of business is it, and what will it cost to get started?</h3> <p>Some businesses don&rsquo;t require a lot of investment and prove themselves relatively quickly. Many service businesses fall into this category. With a good business plan and a solid marketing approach, they can be profitable in less than a year, especially if the business owner is also the service provider.</p> <p>On the other extreme are businesses that are formed to market a new proprietary product. The investment required is significant, and it is often years before a profit is expected.</p> <p>Your idea may fall between these two extremes, but remember, it all takes time. I heard recently of a new restaurant that had to wait almost a year for its city permits in order to open. This delay nearly caused the business to fail, because by the time it was able to open, the owners had gone through most of their working capital.</p> <p>Even if you have already lined up funding or investors, you will need at least some money to get off the ground. If your available funds are tight, wait until it&rsquo;s clear where the money is going to come from to keep both the business and your personal life afloat.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll know the time is right when your cash flow projections show that you can make it to profitability or a first investment round with the money you have raised to get started.</p> <p>Remember: Running out of money is the number one reason that good business ideas fail.</p> <h3>What is your family situation?</h3> <p>Starting a business very quickly becomes a 24/7 project. For entrepreneurs without family responsibilities, this is not much of issue, although it means there is no one to support their efforts.</p> <p>For those with families, it is more complex. You will need your family&rsquo;s full support to get a business off the ground. Your spouse may need to step in to cover some family obligations for you, and you will need to make sure you set time aside for your family.</p> <p>The time is right to get started when your entire family is excited about the new venture and committed to seeing it succeed.</p> <h3>What is your education and experience?</h3> <p>We&rsquo;re all inspired by the stories of young, inexperienced entrepreneurs dropping out of school and ending up on the list of the richest Americans.&nbsp;Unfortunately, most of us don&rsquo;t fall into this category. Get the education and experience needed before starting your own business. Take your time, work for someone else first, and learn all that you can; then the time will be right to go out on your own.</p> <h3>How unique is your idea?</h3> <p>The most successful businesses offer something new to a market that no one else is serving in quite that same way. If your business idea doesn&rsquo;t fit this description, you may want to consider revising your product or service so that it is truly an idea whose time has come.</p> <h3>Is there potential competition?</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re relying on &ldquo;first mover advantage,&rdquo; then you&rsquo;ll want to get started sooner than later. The previous questions still apply, though &mdash; the more you have timing on your side, the sooner you&rsquo;ll be successful.</p> <p>When your timing is right, many of the typical roadblocks that startups run into will be easier to navigate. I hope your launch is successful, and your business brings you everything you hoped for!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joanne-berg">JoAnne Berg</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-now-the-time-to-start-your-own-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-small-business-targeting-the-wrong-customer">Is Your Small Business Targeting the Wrong Customer?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-business-credit-build-your-personal-credit-first">Need Business Credit? Build Your Personal Credit First</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramp-up-your-business-by-specializing">Ramp Up Your Business by Specializing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center small business starting a business startup Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:10:20 +0000 JoAnne Berg 376621 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Finance Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-finance-trends-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/5-finance-trends-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know-ken-kaufman" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/5-finance-trends-every-en...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-finance-trends-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008731108XSmall.jpg" alt="Man drawing a line" title="Man drawing a line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rather than list it, I&rsquo;m just going to start with the main trend everyone&rsquo;s concerned about: Economic turmoil will continue through the year 2011. And, believe it or not, that is good news for most entrepreneurs. While macro-level economists try to make sense of it all, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the following five trends that are creating opportunities the old economy never knew.</p> <p><strong>1. As Start-Up Costs Decrease, Barriers to Entry Are Reduced</strong></p> <p>It just doesn&rsquo;t cost as much to start a business as it used to. Thanks to the cloud and other technological advances, you can start a business in a lot of different industries with a very lightweight infrastructure and still be able to compete with the much deeper pockets of larger competitors.</p> <p><strong>2. The Working Capital Cycle is Tightening</strong></p> <p>Almost every company has had to write-off some bad debt (receivables owed but never paid by customers) in the last couple of years. Entrepreneurs are managing the credit they give their customers much better, and they&rsquo;re staying on top of their receivables as well. And this is true for all of the companies in the supply chain. Cash is flowing better for those who manage their working capital well, while those that don&rsquo;t are exposed to savvy customers who will try and lengthen the days they hold payables and accelerate payment from their own customers to squeeze more business through smaller working-capital requirements.</p> <p><strong>3. Variable Cost Models Are Back in Fashion</strong></p> <p>I have always been a fan of using operating leverage, meaning organizations base their business models on relatively high fixed costs and then make exponentially more profit with just small increases in revenue. But a lot of entrepreneurs who were not careful with this leverage were burnt in the last few years, primarily because small decreases in revenue quickly eroded margins and generated operating losses from which it may be very difficult to recover. The result is a lot of businesses relying heavily on variable, not fixed, costs in their business models. One entrepreneur I spoke with recently is adding two high-level, professional sales positions to her team on a commission-only, or 100% variable, basis. A few years ago the same people would have required high base salaries with handsome expense accounts and more &mdash; all fixed costs. The market is very forgiving of high-variable cost models now and will continue to be through 2011.</p> <p><strong>4. Equipment Expenditures Are Increasing</strong></p> <p>Lots of fanfare surrounded the Small Business Jobs Act. One of the most notable provisions of this act was an extension through 2011 of Section 179 capital expenditures along with an increase in the allowable maximum expensing amount. But with customer demand still unstable and entrepreneurs still uneasy about projecting their equipment needs over the next twelve months, few will hurry out and buy equipment before 2010 is over. Besides, a lot of struggling companies don&rsquo;t have enough profits to fully benefit from the deduction, anyway. The pent-up equipment needs will be deferred until 2011, and, if another extension is not granted, will drive significant equipment purchases, most likely in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter of 2011.</p> <p><strong>5. Knowing Numbers is Key</strong></p> <p>Some business owners spend a lot of time reading about and studying economic trends, following every move of the financial markets. But very few entrepreneurs approach the numbers, metrics, and key trends of their own business with the same fervor. If I had to pick between knowing general economic trends versus my venture&rsquo;s numbers, I would pick my company every time. There are thousands of businesses that have no idea a recession has even occurred, except that the news is talking about it. The right metrics and numbers delivered at the right time to the right people in the right format will bring tremendous benefits to any company.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Trend: Micropayments and Subscriptions Rule</strong></p> <p>$1.99 for this iPhone app. $9.99 for that monthly service. A major movement in business models is towards small, one-time charges and small, monthly subscription fees. And almost all of these transactions are processed electronically by credit card. More businesses will move to one or both of these models in the future, with the subscription model continuing to show its prowess in terms of cash flow and overall business valuation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ken-kaufman">Ken Kaufman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-finance-trends-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-business-credit-build-your-personal-credit-first">Need Business Credit? Build Your Personal Credit First</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-business-credit-cards-affect-your-personal-credit">How Small Business Credit Cards Affect Your Personal Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-small-business-targeting-the-wrong-customer">Is Your Small Business Targeting the Wrong Customer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center 2011 business trends small business startup Sun, 12 Dec 2010 20:37:24 +0000 Ken Kaufman 359131 at http://www.wisebread.com Do Fools Rush in where Angels Fear to Tread? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/do-fools-rush-in-where-angels-fear-to-tread <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/do-fools-rush-in-where-angels-fear-to-tread-tom-harnish" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/do-fools-rush-in-where-an...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/do-fools-rush-in-where-angels-fear-to-tread" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007112938XSmall.jpg" alt="Hoping for success" title="Hoping for success" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Angel investors backed away from seed and startup investments last year, according to the University of New Hampshire's <a href="http://wsbe.unh.edu/files/2009_Analysis_Report.pdf">Center for Venture Research</a>. In 2009, ten percent less private capital, compared to 2008, went to bright ideas or new companies.</p> <p>On the other hand, despite deep recession and record unemployment, more new businesses were started in 2009 than any year since 1995, according to the <a href="http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/despite-recession-us-entrepreneurial-activity-rate-rises-in-2009.aspx">Kauffman Foundation</a>.</p> <p>Are people foolish to start new businesses in this economic climate? Is that why angels are afraid to invest in them?</p> <p><strong>Why Start A New Business When Times Are Tough?</strong></p> <p>Record unemployment motivated many people to start about 500,000 new businesses each month last year. People who were laid off, who worked for shaky companies, or who were just exasperated had to find a way to keep groceries on the table. With few job openings and lots of people looking, creating their own job seemed to be a good strategy.</p> <p>Entrepreneurship was highest among 35 to 44-year-olds, but 55 to 64-year-olds showed the largest increase in new business building, continuing a two-year trend.</p> <p>Oklahoma and Montana had the busiest beavers, but entrepreneurs in Texas and Idaho were close behind. Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota produced the fewest new businesses per capita. According to the Kauffman study's author, Robert W. Fairlie, &quot;Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in western and southern states, and lowest in the Midwestern and northeastern states.&quot; Houston had the highest entrepreneurial rate in 2009; Seattle had the lowest rate.</p> <p>While necessity may be the mother of invention, that's not the only reason people start businesses. And it's not the only requirement for success.</p> <p>I had dinner a few nights ago with the co-founder of Alpine Access. When data-over-voice communications became possible, he realized that people and computers could use a single phone line at the same time. He understood that technology and future developments could make it possible to build an all-virtual call center. The company he started ten years ago has 2800 agents working from home in 35 states, and is poised to reach $100 million in revenue. His company is no start-up, but angels and venture firms are knocking on the door almost daily.</p> <p>With new business starts at an all time high, regardless of the motivation, you'd think shopping for good investments would be easier. But private investors aren't going there.</p> <p><strong>Why Are Angels Afraid of Start-ups?</strong></p> <p>Seed and startup stage companies have never been a favorite of investors for one obvious reason: They're risky. While the failure rate is nowhere near the mythical &quot;9 out of 10 don't last a year&quot; &mdash; <a href="http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/bh_sbe03.pdf">it's closer to 6 out of 10</a> &mdash; the fact is that companies that have been around a while are more likely to produce a return on the investor's dollar.</p> <p>Another reason investment in startups is down is because investors may have to put more money into companies they've already added to their portfolio. Declining consumer spending and lower revenue can quickly deplete a company's <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218396076;41475586;v?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">cash</a> reserves if expenses aren't or can't be controlled. In a sense, investors are forced to double down to protect their investment.</p> <p>Finally, angels' tolerance for risk change during a down economy, too. Their own income may be lower for the same reason as everyone else's, and as savvy investors they may decide this is a good time to play their cards close to their vest.</p> <p><strong>Entrepreneurship Drives the Economy</strong></p> <p>The sad part about the decline in startup investment is that entrepreneurship drives our economy, yet recent stimulus programs essentially ignored angels and the companies they invest in.</p> <p>Even in the '81-'82 recession about half of all small business owners thought conditions would improve. Today, <a href="http://mybusinessmag.com/fullstory.php?sid=2124">only 11% do</a>, which is a huge difference. Business owners and investors, almost unanimously, just don't think things are going to get better any time soon. With that mindset, even people who have money aren't going to spend it.</p> <p>The scary part is that the people in Washington with no private market experience may continue to try to create jobs (Stimulus II?) by laying on more debt and only making things worse. Instead, legislation that will support new business startups and encourage private investment could fuel the engine that makes our country run.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/do-fools-rush-in-where-angels-fear-to-tread">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-personal-guarantee-on-a-business-credit-card-mean">What Does Your Personal Guarantee On a Business Credit Card Mean?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center angel investors funding small business startup Mon, 07 Jun 2010 03:35:45 +0000 Tom Harnish 102987 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Awesome Companies Built by Teens http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-awesome-companies-built-by-teens <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/10-awesome-companies-built-by-teens-glen-stansberry" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/10-awesome-companies...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/10-awesome-companies-built-by-teens" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laughing-boy.jpg" alt="Teen" title="Teen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The entrepreneurial spirit starts early for many teenagers, but for most things like high school, college and social lives overpower the urge to start a business.</p> <p>But not every teenager.</p> <p>Occasionally there are a few really driven youngsters who actually create successful companies before they are old enough to vote, buy alcohol, or even drive. Here are ten inspirational stories of some incredibly successful young entrepreneurs, who all started their empires in their teens.</p> <h2>1. Fred De Luca</h2> <p>In 1965 Fred De Luca borrowed just $1,000 to start the now-famous Subway sandwich restaurant. Fred was only 17 years old when he decided to be an entrepreneur, and he started the restaurant as a way to earn money for college. Since opening the first shop in Boston, the chain now has 32,401 locations and makes over $9 billion in sales yearly. Fred and his co-founder Peter Buck have also founded <a href="http://www.franchisebrandsllc.com/">Franchise Brands</a>, a resource to help franchisors and entrepreneurs grow their brands.</p> <h2>2. Mark Zuckerberg</h2> <p>Mark Zuckerberg created the software that would eventually become the popular social networking site <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a> while he was at Harvard. He launched the site from his dorm room, and since that day has become the youngest self-made businessman who is worth more than a billion dollars. Zuckerberg dropped out of college and became the CEO of the fastest-growing site on the Internet. Facebook has since recorded over 400 million users and is now one of the most successful websites ever built.</p> <h2>3. Matt Mullenweg</h2> <p>Matt Mullenweg is another software developer who found success at a very early age. When Matt was 19, he announced that he would be starting an open source initiative for better blogging software and started <a href="http://www.wordpress.org">Wordpress</a>. Since then the software programmer started Automattic, which has two flagship products <a href="http://akismet.com/">Akismet</a>, a trap for site comment spam, and <a href="http://www.wordpress.com">Wordpress.com</a>, the hosted version of the open source Wordpress software. Since founding Automattic, the company has raised over $30 million dollars and owns some of the most popular software on the Web.</p> <h2>4. Anand Lal Shimpi</h2> <p>Anand Lal Shimpi started <a href="http://www.anandtech.com">AnandTech</a> in 1997, when he was only 14 years old. The original <a href="http://www.anandtech.com">AnandTech</a> website was hosted on a GeoCities platform. What started as a simple hobby grew into one of the world's largest websites covering computer hardware. The <a href="http://forums.anandtech.com/">AnandTech forums</a> is one of the best places to get computer advice and find tech bargains.</p> <h2>5. Carl Churchill</h2> <p>By 2020, Carl Churchill is expected to be worth $100 million. Carl founded DMC Internet in 2001 at the age of 15, and since has built an empire on helping businesses with their Internet presence. Churchill's company offers anything from wireless broadband to server security for businesses, and from its launch grew exponentially. So much so that in 2003 Churchill was listed in the Royal Bank of Scotland's &quot;Rich List&quot; of under 21s who would be millionaires.</p> <h2>6. Farrah Gray</h2> <p>Farrah Gray was a successful businessman before he reached his teens, and his success story is so bizarre that it's almost impossible to believe. When he was 10 Gray formed a club that raised $15,000 for financing a lemonade stand, by 12 he had started a venture capital firm that raised $1 million from investors to help teenagers start their own business. Before he was 16 he had started business ventures that include pre-paid phone cards, One Stop Mailboxes &amp; More franchises and The Teenscope &quot;Youth AM/FM&quot; interactive talk show. He became executive producer of a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip, and was the owner of a food company that had orders exceeding $1.5 million.</p> <p>Gray has since become a best-selling author. In 2005 his book <em>Reallionaire</em> was an international bestseller, and was even endorsed by Bill Clinton. Gray has written many books since then, including co-authoring <em>Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul</em>. But aside from all his success, Gray started his own non-profit Farrah Gray Foundation, which gives grants and scholarships to inner-city and students with at-risk backgrounds. And he's done all this well before his thirtieth birthday.</p> <h2>7. Romero Bryan</h2> <p>Romero Bryan started designing clothes at the age of 12, and his own <a href="http://www.romerobryan.com/">clothing line</a> has taken off like a rocket. He's dressed some of the most popular people on the planet including Beyonce, Victoria Beckham, Cameron Diaz, and Alicia Keys. Romero's empire is expected to earn him over 30 million pounds by 2020.</p> <h2>8. Kristopher Tate</h2> <p>Kristopher Tate is a kind of programming wunderkind. Tate started working with HTML at age 4, before most kids have started reading. He started the photo-sharing site <a href="http://zooomr.com">Zooomr</a> at age 17 as a competitor to <a href="http://www.flickr.com">Flickr</a>. Since then the company has grown into one of the top photo-sharing services on the Web. He has since moved the site's headquarters to Japan, and is involved in creating Japan's first society-based community site.</p> <h2>9. Jason O'Neill</h2> <p>Jason O'Neill has probably the most successful business created by someone under 10. At the age of 9, Jason started making <a href="http://www.pencilbugs.com/">Pencil Bugs</a>, colorful pencil toppers in the shape of bugs. Aside from his business, Jason's been featured on many major network shows, not only for his young entrepreneurship, but also for his philanthropic efforts. He's donated money for foster children, and has sent his pencils to schoolchildren in Africa.</p> <h2>10. Fraser Doherty</h2> <p>While most successful young entrepreneurs make their money building popular websites, Fraser Doherty built his empire using a more traditional way. Fraser started making jams at the age of 14 in Scotland, and by 16 left school to work on his jam business <a href="http://www.superjam.co.uk/">SuperJam</a> full-time. SuperJam sells around 500,000 jars a year, which currently has around 10% of UK jam market.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "platinum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-awesome-companies-built-by-teens">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramp-up-your-business-by-specializing">Ramp Up Your Business by Specializing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs">How the Self Employed Can Cut Health Care Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-small-business-needs-an-emergency-fund-too">Your Small Business Needs an Emergency Fund, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center startup teens Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:00:05 +0000 Glen Stansberry 28293 at http://www.wisebread.com NotchUp - Get Paid to Go on Interviews http://www.wisebread.com/notchup-get-paid-to-go-on-interviews <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/notchup-get-paid-to-go-on-interviews" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/notchup-logo.png" alt="NotchUp Logo" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="82" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yesterday I received an email from my friend <a href="http://retirementhobo.blogspot.com/">Retirement Hobo</a> inviting me to join <a href="http://NotchUp.com" target="_blank">NotchUp</a> . I was sitting there thinking, &quot;oh no, not another social network!&quot; Then I read the email in detail and it sounded quite interesting. Apparently NotchUp is a service that finds companies that would pay you to interview you. You can create a profile, set your price, and then wait for an offer. Sounds too good to be true? Even though I have no intention to look for a job now, I decided to sign in and see what it is all about.</p> <p>First of all, NotchUp is in beta right now so only those with invitations or approved applications can sign up. The site is also painfully slow since its launch on January 28. When I signed up it prompted me to set my interview price. On the side it had a little form you could fill out for NotchUp to estimate a price to set. The form asks for your industry, position, and salary information and then spits out a number. It seems to give a higher valuation to those who have been at their current position for a good amount of time. This is probably to penalize job hopping. It suggested that I charge $290 per interview, but I just set it to $500 since I am just trying it out for fun. Then it asked which companies you would like to block from seeing your profile and whether you want recruiters to see your profile or not. Finally you can create your profile or resume. There was an option to import your profile from <a href="http://linkedin.com">LinkedIn</a> so I did just that and my profile was up and running in two seconds. </p> <p>The site&#39;s layout currently looks like a clone of LinkedIn, and even the logo is quite similar. However I do not think the two companies are related other than that you can import your LinkedIn profile. You can edit your profile with links next to each position you have had and there is tab browsing for other options. There is also a little section for stats and feedback. The feedback box seems to indicate that the companies that interviewed you can rate you on whether you took the interview seriously and if your profile is accurate. Your payment is related to the feedback and if you are not a serious candidate the interviewer could choose not to pay you. </p> <p>It may make no sense that companies would pay to just talk to someone, but in reality companies spend tens of thousands of dollars to recruit the people they want from competitors. It is really great that job seekers can now get a piece of the action usually reserved for recruiters. NotchUp is a good idea for companies who want those people who are not really looking for jobs actively. Only time will tell how this concept will work out, but the business model is that NotchUp is a middleman that charges a percentage of the interview fee you receive. So far quite a few big name companies including Google and Facebook have signed up with NotchUp to interview candidates. I think NotchUp has a brilliant idea that could entice candidates who would otherwise not bother with interviews to speak to a potential employer. I am not sure how the ratings system would work out since the site is so new, but it is pretty painless to set up a profile and it could net you a brand new job or just a few hundred dollars for your time to interview. If an interview is only a couple hours and you can be paid $200 to $300 then it is a very good deal. A possible negative effect of NotchUp is that we may see people set up fake resumes that are extremely attractive just to bag interviews, and then they would not care if they fail because they may still be paid. </p> <p>If you want an invitation to NotchUp from me please send a private message with your name and email to me in the <a href="/forums/private.php?do=newpm">forums</a> and I would get a 10% referral fee for each successful interview you complete in the first year of your enrollment. I will keep your information strictly confidential. Once you are signed up you can also refer the best people you know who are stuck in jobs they may not be totally thrilled with and possibly receive a referral fee. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/notchup-get-paid-to-go-on-interviews">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-joining-an-excellent-startup-company">Tips for Joining an Excellent Startup Company</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-interview-lessons-learned-from-horrible-interviews">Five Interview Lessons Learned from Horrible Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Career Building career extra cash interview Making Extra Cash startup Tue, 29 Jan 2008 18:02:59 +0000 Xin Lu 1695 at http://www.wisebread.com Tips for Joining an Excellent Startup Company http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-joining-an-excellent-startup-company <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-for-joining-an-excellent-startup-company" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/41KFT9PHGAL._SS500_.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in college I interned for some very large corporations and swore to myself that I would never work for gigantic companies ever again. I hated the lack of purpose and direction in my internships and I also did not like the layers upon layers of bureaucracy. So when I graduated college I decided that I will work for a startup. I did join a small profitable startup and met a group of extremely intelligent people and worked with them for over a year. Since then I have joined a couple more small private companies and I have learned a lot about startups and I would like to share my experience here.</p> <p><strong>1. Have Realistic Expectations</strong> - Lets face it, not everyone who joins a startup can become a millionaire because 90% of startups fail. If you are a lowly rank and file employee like me it is also <a href="http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/11/16/california-dreamin-incentive-stock-options-and-the-silicon-valley-workerbee/" target="_blank">pretty hard to become extremely rich off the option grants</a> . It does not mean that it is impossible to profit handsomely off a startup if you choose well and join early. I have seen a few of my coworkers run off with hundreds of thousands dollars worth in company stock because they have been with a company for many years. Since startups are usually small, you can also expect to have less benefits than larger companies. For example, I have never had 401k matching, but I have an extremely flexible work schedule to make up for it.</p> <p><strong>2. Find a List of Startups - </strong>Recently a great site called <a href="http://www.ventureloop.com">VentureLoop.com</a> appeared and it lets you search for positions at startups. The job postings are mostly posted by the venture capitalists that are funding the startups and instead of going to each venture capital company&#39;s page you can search it all at VentureLoop. Other methods of finding names of startups include networking, or search for lists of companies that received venture funding. Lists of these are sometimes published in newspapers and business journals. Once you have a list of names you can start narrowing down the companies you want to target. </p> <p><strong>3. Research and Estimate the Current Value of the Company</strong> - If you want to get rich off of pre-IPO stock options, it is best to have an idea how much the company you would like to join is worth right now. Some friends have asked me what I thought of Facebook, which is touted as one of the hottest companies in the Valley right now. I told them that I thought the valuation is <a href="http://www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/news/2007/10/facebook_future" target="_blank">way too high at $15 billion</a> . The way stock options work is that your strike price is whatever the last valuation of the company is as determined by the company&#39;s board or a sale event. So if anyone joined Facebook now they would have a very high strike price. Then again, Facebook may be pumped up some more. Generally, when you receive an offer from a startup you are able to ask how many shares of stock are outstanding and how much each share is worth. However, if you are just doing research on your own, you can only estimate the company&#39;s valuation from news clippings. </p> <p><strong>4. Research the Company&#39;s Product </strong>- This is one of the most important things you can do. The first startup I joined is really excellent in terms of working environment, but I was not interested in the product at all. Even though the product is profitable I did not feel a connection to it. So if you are interested in a startup, you should see if you would actually buy the product. If the product is available to try then by all means get a copy and play around with it. Since the product is something you will work with day in and day out it is important that you like it. You should also have a good idea of whether or not the product would sell and if you have faith in the company&#39;s product, then it is a good sign.<br /><strong><br />5. Research the Company&#39;s Competition</strong> - It is best to join a startup that has no competition at all. That means they have a fresh idea and they are the leader in the marketplace. However, it is very rare to find a company like that and the barrier to entry for many startups is very low. If you do find a company with competition you should see if the competition is doing better. Generally, you want to join the leader of the pack because there is more of a chance for the frontrunners to survive. </p> <p><strong>6. Try to Get an Interview</strong> - So you have your sights set on a great company, do you have an interview? The best way to get interviews in startups is through networking. Look up the company name in LinkedIn and see if you find anyone you know. Otherwise, look on the company website directly and submit your resume. You can also call the company and just ask if you can speak with someone. There is not always a position available, but it does not hurt to try. <br /><strong><br />7. Negotiate Your Offer</strong> - If you happen to get an offer from an excellent startup, congratulations! All the startups I have joined have been quite selective and have had fairly difficult interviews. Now you must negotiate your offer at least once. I did not know this when I just graduated college but apparently just by asking nicely you can often get more stock options or more money. The worst thing they can do is say they can not offer you any more, but usually a company that has just put you through eight or nine rounds of interviews really want to hire you. They have used up their precious resources to interview you and they would not reject you just because you asked for a better offer. </p> <p><strong>8. Work Hard and Play Hard </strong>- Startups are places where everyone have to wear a lot of different hats and do more than just the job description. There are times where you have to work fairly long hours, but there is often free drinks and food along with it. Some companies even have game rooms for people to spend time. I have met a lot of fun and young people in the startups I joined, and there are always opportunities to play.</p> <p>Right now I am still working for a startup, and I am enjoying it very much. One thing I would like to stress is that if you are young you will learn so much more at a startup as opposed to a large conglomerate with 200,000 employees. You will learn to do things efficiently and become more independent. The downside is that there may not be as many training programs or perks like pension or paid maternity leave. However, there is always the dream of the IPO.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-joining-an-excellent-startup-company">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/notchup-get-paid-to-go-on-interviews">NotchUp - Get Paid to Go on Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-for-work-life-and-everything-in-between">Having Fun at Work, Life, and Everything In-Between</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-interview-lessons-learned-from-horrible-interviews">Five Interview Lessons Learned from Horrible Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Career Building career networking Silicon Valley startup Sun, 20 Jan 2008 20:30:22 +0000 Xin Lu 1652 at http://www.wisebread.com