• Want to Start a Business with a Subpar Financial Record? Here's How!

    If you're like many Americans, you dream of owning your own business. You might be held back by fear, finances, or failure — but don't let these worries stop you! NeuroGym reveals that many successful entrepreneurs failed at first, including Oprah and Henry Ford


    A subpar financial history shouldn't prevent you from becoming an entrepreneur either. There are ways to found a startup, even with bad credit or similar issues. Take a look at this guide on how it's done.


    Research your business concept to gauge the odds of success


    Choosing a marketable business is the first step in assuring your future success. Foundr explains how you can gauge your idea's chances of survival before setting up shop. For example, you should examine the competition, see how well existing competitors are doing financially, and determine what you can do differently.


    If you think you've found a competitive yet unique business idea, sketch out the details in a business plan. This document covers essential components like marketing, financial projections, and a comprehensive product or service description. You can get free business plan templates from The Business Plan Shop.


    Skip the bank loan and put your trust in non-traditional sources of funding


    Every business requires some investment. Calculating how much money you'll need in advance will allow you to secure the necessary cash beforehand, minimizing financial risk. The Minority Business Development Agency explains how to estimate what your startup will cost and provides tips for keeping overhead low, like running a home-based business.


    If you have a bad financial history, it may be difficult to get a traditional bank loan to fund your entrepreneurial venture. While bad credit will make it tough to get a loan, there are alternative ways to secure the startup capital you need. Primary Funding provides a list of nontraditional methods such as crowdfunding, grants, and startup competitions.


    Build your brand and start marketing to your target audience


    The key to success in a competitive marketplace is standing out from the crowd. Branding helps you do just that. Your brand should be its own unique selling proposition, setting you apart from others in your field and speaking directly to your target audience's values. Your brand identity will inform future marketing campaigns, so conceptualize it carefully.


    Streamline operations and save money with the right tech tools


    As your marketing takes off and you start attracting customers, find ways to maintain streamlined business operations. This can help save valuable time and cut operational costs. Insights Success describes how businesses can automate tasks for greater success, including payroll, procurement, customer service, and more.


    For instance, rather than printing out, signing, and mailing documents, use a PDF form filler to submit digital signatures so you can then email the PDF to the necessary parties; check this one out from Adobe Acrobat. In addition to saving money on printing and mailing costs, you’ll be able to securely email your PDF with data encryption or password protection so only the intended party receives it.


    When it comes to payroll, look for systems that allow you to integrate time tracking and timesheet functionality. Many options offer handy tools like real-time reporting to further simplify your payroll processes. Plus, many offer an accompanying mobile app, so you can even handle crew management from your smartphone.


    Table your idea, and build your knowledge base


    As you can see, a lot goes into launching a business. It’s enough to make your head spin! If the allure of owning a business is strong but you don’t feel ready, find other ways to prepare yourself for when the time finally arrives. This could be working for a business in the same industry you’re considering for your own business. By learning some of the inner workings, you can get an idea of how the wheels of the machine turn. For example, if you want to own a coffee shop, go work at a coffee shop. You’ll learn the ropes of everything there is to know about owning a coffee business as well as gain valuable insight into the types of customers you hope to attract. 


    Another great option is to go back to school for a business degree. Online programs offer flexibility for working professionals, and in addition to business management, you can take a deep dive into concepts like accounting, IT, marketing, and human resources. This lays a strong foundation so when you are ready to launch your venture, you can hit the ground running. 


    With the right tools and people to support you, you can establish a successful business, even with a checkered financial past — it simply requires some advanced planning. The above tips can help you chart your path.


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