Business - Money Done Right Personal Finance, Investing, and Tax Blog Wed, 26 Apr 2023 05:12:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Business - Money Done Right 32 32 How to Make Money on YouTube + How Much I Make Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:46:20 +0000 We just started posting daily vlogs of our family life on the The Allec Family channel a couple weeks ago, and we intend to do daily vlogs on that channel, just bust out the camera throughout the day and just record our family life as a young family with a one-year-old.

We’re finally going to post some of our travel videos there, from our Italy Christmas trip to other trips we’ve taken, and we’re posting on that channel because we want to share our personal lives with our followers, whether followers of my personal finance channel or Caroline’s lifestyle and beauty channel.

I intend to make updates about the state of our family channel on a monthly basis for at least the first 12 months being monetized just documenting how much money the family vlog made and things we learned along the way just to document the growth of a newly-monetized small family YouTube channel with you all to show you it is possible to start and grow a YouTube channel in 2020.

But of course I do acknowledge that our family vlog has three distinct unfair advantages that you may not have if you’re starting from scratch.

In the first part I will walk you through exactly how to get monetized on YouTube, the eligibility requirements, how to apply, etc.

In the second part I will show you our family vlog’s YouTube revenue for its first seven days of monetization and do a little digging into our YouTube revenue analytics.

What is YouTube Monetization?

Also known as the YouTube Partner Program.

YouTube monetization is making money from YouTube ads.

There are other ways to make money on YouTube, such as promoting your affiliate links in your video description or other YouTube monetization features like channel memberships, merchandise, Super Chat, and all that, but I’m just going to be talking about the most basic form of YouTube monetization, which is ad revenue.

Just in very simple, probably oversimplified terms, advertisers pay YouTube. Google owns YouTube, to run ads on YouTube videos, in front of videos, in the middle of videos, after videos, and YouTube shares this ad revenue with the creators of the videos, and the revenue split is 55% to the creators and 45% to YouTube, nonnegotiable.

How much do you actually make in ad revenue per video view?

This actually varies wildly depending on a lot of factors, but you will see exactly how much our Allec Family videos make on YouTube.

How to Get Monetized on YouTube

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • First, your channel must follow YouTube’s monetization policies, so don’t post nasty stuff, don’t post violent stuff, don’t rip other creators off, don’t plagiarize, that’s pretty basic. Basically if you’re making a legitimate channel, you don’t have to worry about this stuff. If you’re sharing good information with people, like I do for personal finance on the Logan Allec channel, like my wife Caroline does with her lifestyle and beauty channel, or if you’re just sharing your life like a vlog, documenting your life, like we do on The Allec Family channel, you’ll be fine with this requirement, and the other two requirements that I’m going to talk about right now will probably be more daunting for you.
  • Second requirement, your channel needs at least 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. So in the past 12 months, people must have spent at least 4,000 hours watching your videos.  That’s roughly 11 hours per day.  So people got to be watching your stuff at least an average of 11 hours total per day, so maybe that’s 22 people each watching a half hour of your stuff per day.
  • And the third requirement, you need at least 1,000 current subscribers total, not in the past 12 months, total, 1,000 subscribers total as of right now.

So with our YouTube channel, we kind of got lucky because before the channel was a family vlog it basically housed our videos of various concert performances, entertainment, stuff like that, and one of our videos was a video of a magician at my wife’s old work’s holiday party a couple years back.

This video took off, and from the get-go it was getting hundreds of views a day, so that watch hour requirements wasn’t an issue for us.

The more difficult requirement to meet was the 1,000 subscriber requirement, because with that magician video, a lot of people would just watch the video and not subscribe.

It wasn’t until my Logan Allec channel took off and I was able to recommend our Allec Family channel on the Logan Allec channel that The Allec Family channel hit that 1,000-subscriber mark to be eligible for monetization.

So we hit the 1,000-subscriber threshold on June 15, you can see me here refreshing my screen until the 999 becomes 1k, so that was very exciting.

And right when I saw that The Allec Family Channel had hit the 1,000-subscriber mark, I immediately applied for monetization with YouTube. I applied for the YouTube Partner Program for The Allec Family Channel.

Apply for YouTube Partner Program

First, on a computer, not mobile;

  • Go to your channel
  • Go to YouTube Studio
  • Go down to Monetization on the left-hand side
  • Click “Apply Now”, then walk through the steps.

Step 1. Review and Approve the YouTube Partner Terms

step 1 review youtube partner program terms

These terms just describe the revenue split, which as I mentioned previously is 55% to creators and 45% to YouTube.

It also says that the minimum monthly payout is $100. So if you don’t make $100 in revenue your first month being monetized, let’s say you only make $5 or something, then the next month you make $10, then $15, when your balance eventually hits $100, then you’ll be paid in the next monthly batch.

It says the agreement can be terminated with 30 days notice, the terms are not long, I think it’s like 6 bullet points or something like that so, read ’em, and approve ’em.

Step 2. Link your Google AdSense account or Create an AdSense Account

step 2 sign up for google adsense

I already had an AdSense account for my Logan Allec personal finance channel, so all I had to do was link my existing AdSense account to The Allec Family channel monetization, but if you don’t currently have an AdSense account, this will be more of a process for you.

For example, you’ll have to provide Google/YouTube your address and they will mail you a PIN number in the mail, and then you have to get that PIN number in the mail and then input back in your account, so if you don’t currently have an AdSense account right now, you’ll have to do that.

Step 3. Get Reviewed

Once you’ve set up your AdSense account, the next step is to simply wait, wait for YouTube to review your account and approve you for monetization.

They initially told me for The Allec Family that it would take over 30 days for the channel to get approved for monetization, but I actually got the email after two days, that’s possibly because I have the Logan Allec personal finance channel, so maybe the review of The Allec Family channel was a bit lighter, I’m not sure, but just know it could take a while, or it could take two days or maybe even less for some people.

After you’re approved for monetization, whether that’s after two days or thirty days, you will get an email from YouTube saying as such.

youtube monetization email

Then, what you have to do, right after you get that email, turn the ads on on your videos.

You just click in the monetization column, and you change it from Off to On, then congratulations, you will run be running ads and earning ad revenue on those videos.

youtube video monetization

Or you can do it in bulk with the checkmark box at the very top above the checkmark box for the individual videos.

Then what you can do is you can change your monetization settings for future videos, and these are the settings I like to use.

youtube monetization settings

I like all the ad types except the non-skippable ads, I personally find it very annoying when I cannot skip an ad, I like to be able to skip it after 5 seconds, and as a courtesy to my viewers I don’t want to subject y’all to non-skippable ads.

I do like the mid-roll ads, which are ads in the middle of videos, you can only do that on videos that are at least 10 minutes long, but it does pad the revenue quite nicely assuming that people like your content enough to keep watching even through the mid-roll ads, and that’s why you gotta create great content, because it makes your viewers happy, it makes YouTube happy, and it makes you happy knowing that you made your viewers happy, and you are also able to make some extra money.

You can also change these settings for individual videos by clicking the dollar sign icon for the video that appears in YouTube Studio when you hover over it.

One thing to note is that you can set the placement of your mid-roll ads by clicking “Manage Mid-Rolls”, you can either tell YouTube to automatically place your mid-roll ads at what it perceives to be natural breakpoints, or you can set the location of the midroll ads yourself by clicking somewhere on the timeline and then clicking Ad Break and then clicking Continue and then clicking Save.

youtube ad breaks

One thing some creators like to do with mid-roll ads is make a cliffhanger out of it, kind of like T.V. does.

Let’s say you’re creating a video showing people exactly how much money you make on YouTube, and right before you reveal the dollar amount, you hit them up with a mid-roll ad so that they have to watch the ad to see what they came for or they can just look in the comments if the creator isn’t actively monitoring and deleting comments that spoil the big reveal.

Speaking of how much money you can make on YouTube, let’s now transition to the part of the video where I reveal to you how much our small family vlog The Allec Family YouTube channel made on YouTube in its first week of monetization.

A Few Disclaimers

But before I make that big reveal, I want to get a few things out of the way.

First of all, the amount of ad revenue you’re going to see that The Allec Family made in its first seven days of monetization is not huge, we are not a large YouTube channel.

I think right now we only have about 2,000 subscribers, look at our videos, I think we only have a few videos that have more than 1,000 views each, even before I accidentally deleted 14 of our most recent vlogs that wiped out the view counts for most of them and had to reupload them.

So we’re definitely not a large YouTube Channel so any support you can give us whether a like or a comment or a share we really appreciate it.

That said, even though the money the channel made was not life-changing money, nevertheless the ad revenue wasn’t only like 17 cents or something like that either in which case it might not be worth it.

That said, there is an intangible benefit to having a family vlog, a family YouTube channel, where we can look back at our lives as a young family, as young parents, when our first child was very young, and you can’t necessarily put a monetary value on that, so keep that in mind.

First Unfair Advantage

Next thing I want to talk about our unfair advantages.

I don’t want anybody to look at our family channel and think, oh, OK I can do that, I can replicate that in a week, because we do have some unfair advantages with our family channel.

First unfair advantage, you are currently watching this video on my personal finance channel Logan Allec that currently has over 96,000 subscribers as of the time of this recording, it gets thousands of views a day, and I like to mention The Allec Family channel from time to time on this channel, the Logan Allec channel, to be able to share my personal life with my viewers.

So takeaway is if you don’t currently have an existing platform with at least a few thousand followers, it will be a longer go for you unless you just get lucky with a viral video or something like that, but for most people it’s a long slog.

That said, please keep in mind that my Logan Allec personal finance channel just really took off this year, my channel grew 30x in terms of subscribers in just the past four months, so yes we have an unfair advantage with The Allec Family channel due to the Logan Allec personal finance channel, but that Logan Allec personal finance channel only got to the point of being an unfair advantage within the past four months, I am not some original O.G. YouTuber.

Second Unfair Advantage

Second, we have that magician video I mentioned previously that generates a certain amount of views and subscribers for us everyday on an evergreen basis, and that’s just kind of sheer dumb luck that that video took off, but you can learn something from that.

Are you going to an interesting event or are you going to see an interesting performer? You may want to bust your camera out and record it.

However, keep in mind that if you’re recording a copyrighted work, such as a song, at a concert, you can’t monetize it unless you obtain written permission from the copyright owner.

If it’s your original cover of a song, you can split the revenue with the copyright holder.

But if it’s a live recording of a concert, you really can’t monetize that without permission, though YouTube may imply that you can in the monetization settings.

For example, last year for their birthdays I took my parents, along with Caroline, to see Elton John on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour here in Southern California, and I recorded some of the big hits at that concert and I made YouTube videos out of them, and YouTube actually gives me the option to share revenue with the copyright holder, but it disclaims it with smaller writing that says, “This is my cover of a song written by somebody else.”

And because I know their guidelines, I’m not going to click “On” because even though their machine learning doesn’t detect that this is Elton John himself singing the song rather than me as a cover version, I know that this video is not eligible for monetization.

I don’t want to dive too deeply into that because that’s more of an advanced topic, but needless to say, my recording of the magician, that was not a recording of a copyrighted work, so that’s fair game, and that video is fully monetizable.

So if you’re going to an interesting event where somebody is going to perform for you and it’s not a copyrighted work, consider getting a decent seat and recording it and throwing it on YouTube, because you never know, no guarantees, but who knows, you might get lucky, but you won’t get lucky if you don’t look for those opportunities.

Third Unfair Advantage

And of course the third unfair advantage The Allec Family has is that it features the cutest little guy in the whole world, our son Hunter, and obviously we’re biased, but we think he’s pretty irresistible.

What We’re Doing With Our Ad Revenue

Speaking of Hunter, the last thing I want to talk about before showing you how much the channel made is what we’re doing with the ad revenue from our Allec Family channel, basically as of right now unless the channel gets huge or something it’s all going to Hunter and any future children we have.

And more specifically, it will be going to Hunter in a tax-advantaged way. Let me digress here for a bit before we get to the good stuff where I show you exactly how much the channel made and allow me to put on my CPA hat and talk taxes here for a few minutes.

Probably the most awesome tax strategy for a young person, especially one in a low tax bracket, especially one like our very young one-year-old son who is in a 0% tax bracket, is the Roth IRA.

Why a Roth?

Well there would not be as much a benefit for him of a Traditional IRA because while he would get tax-deferred growth in there he has no tax to take the current year deduction against for a Traditional IRA contribution, so Roth is great.

Put money in there, and it will grow tax-free for the little guy, for years and decades and make him a millionaire someday, hopefully, because he has time on his side, consider the fact that $1,000 invested at the age of 1 year old, earning an average annual return of 8%, which is not unreasonable for someone starting so young because they can be pretty aggressive in their investing strategy.

$1,000 invested at the age of 1 year old at 8% would grow to over $100,000 by the time that individual turns 60, 100x growth, granted $100k probably wouldn’t get you as much in 2080 as it does today, but it’s still an incredibly growth rate because inflation will not hit 8% in this country, hopefully.

So $1,000 invested today in a Roth IRA could result in over $100,000 tax-free at the age of 60.

That’s all assuming that Uncle Sam doesn’t break his promise with Roth IRAs.

Only problem with Roth IRAs and children is that the maximum IRA contribution you can make for the year is the lesser of the statutory limit for the year, which is $6,000 in 2020 for those under the age of 50, so lesser of $6,000 or your earned income for the year.

Backdoor Roth IRA

If you’re a high income earner, there is another limitation on direct Roth IRA contributions, you may have to use the backdoor Roth IRA.

Two years ago I made a video on how to do the backdoor Roth IRA at Vanguard.

But of course most young children don’t have that problem, because they’re not high income earners, and so their issue is that they can’t contribute to a Roth IRA in excess of their earned income, and most young children do not have any earned income and so they’re therefore ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA.

How Hunter Became Qualified for Roth IRA Contributions

But Hunter is the star of our YouTube videos, so it’s completely fair for the production company, Allec Media LLC, which is paid by Google/YouTube for The Allec Family channel revenue, to be paid compensation from that production company. So every month my company will write Hunter a check for his compensation.

And then the question is of course what’s a fair compensation for his “talent.”

And there are a lot of things to consider, but first of all, he’s not actually doing any work, he’s just living his life and occasionally maybe saying “hi” or “bye” to the camera on command, so it doesn’t seem appropriate to just give him a standard “base” compensation here.

It seems more reasonable to simply say that he is entitled to a portion of the revenue because the work, the editing, the uploading, and all that, that’s done by good old Dad, so it probably wouldn’t fly with the IRS to say that all of The Allec Family revenue should go to 0% tax bracket Hunter then my company could essentially get the ad revenue, write a check to Hunter for the full amount, so I don’t pay tax on it.

It wouldn’t increase my business income because it comes in and it goes out to my son, so I get a tax deduction for my business for Hunter’s compensation, and then that money that Hunter earned is tax-free to him because he makes less than the standard deduction amounts for both federal and state income tax purposes where we live, and not only that, but his compensation goes into a Roth IRA for him in which it enjoys tax-free growth.

So it’s basically tax-free income that will grow for him tax-free for decades invested in the U.S. stock market, which by the way, if you’re curious about, you should watch my video on investing for beginners.

So taxwise that arrangement I just described is so good, that it would probably be frowned upon by the IRS if we decided that Hunter’s compensation was 100% of the ad revenue from The Allec Family channel.

So at this point, we think 50/50 is fair.

50% going directly from my business to Hunter as his compensation, which goes to his Roth IRA, which gets tax-free growth, and and then 50% funneling through Allec Media LLC, a pass-through S corporation, to its owner, me and by extension Caroline, and then we will contribute our earnings, as distinct from Hunter’s, from The Allec Family YouTube channel to a 529 plan for our son Hunter for his future college education.

So we think 50/50 is fair for now, if we really want to get granular, we’d probably isolate just the videos that Hunter appears in as distinct from say the magician video, but you’ll see how much ad revenue the channel’s making here in a bit, and it’s not a whole lot at this point, maybe eventually we have to do some kind of bifurcation like that.

But for right now, I think 50/50 is defensible if it was even questioned by the IRS because look, people wouldn’t watch these videos of our daily lives in Santa Clarita, California if Hunter were not in them, so I think 50/50 is fair for now.

How Much We Made Our First Week Being Monetized

Without further ado, here’s how much ad revenue The Allec Family YouTube channel made in its first seven days.

youtube ad revenue

But if you’d like to learn more, I will be getting to the good stuff in this section of the video regarding ad revenue, video analytics, and more.

There’s just so much with the YouTube analytics, and I don’t even understand all of it, I probably should, especially with the growth of the Logan Allec personal finance channel, maybe I’ll do a dedicated video to YouTube analytics at some point, but in this post I just wanted to explain to you the YouTube monetization process and show you how much our family channel The Allec Family made in revenue in its first week being monetized.

How to Make Money on YouTube Video

5 Tips From Someone Who Makes $50,000 a Month on YouTube

The tips below are from Ryan Scribner, who makes over $50,000 a month from his personal finance YouTube channel.

A lot of people are interested in making money online these days. Maybe you have a 9 to 5 that keeps you busy during the day, but on nights and weekends you have free time that you want to dedicate towards increasing your income.

I found myself in the exact same position back in 2016 when I was working for my local power utility company. Oddly enough though, I did not start my YouTube channel with any intention of making money. I started this channel because I was passionate about investing and personal finance, and this was a way for me to help others.

Well, as it turns out you can make money with a YouTube channel. After making videos on nights and weekends for a number of months, I began making a few hundred dollars a month. I will explain exactly how I was doing this later on. By the time I started making $1,000 a month, I was at a crossroads. I believed that I could scale this YouTube channel and create a full time income for myself, but that would mean leaving the security of my job. I ultimately decided to leave my job and go full time on YouTube.

I have been a full time YouTuber since June of 2017. Now, I run a few different investing related mediums. Besides my YouTube channel, I own one of the largest Instagram pages related to investing and a blog known as Investing Simple.  Between the YouTube channel, the Instagram page and the blog I am consistently making $25,000 to $50,000 every single month.

Now, these are not results that you can expect from day one. In fact, I can’t guarantee that you will experience results like this at all. But what I will tell you is that patience is rewarded when it comes to building a following and making money online. Before I get into the money making strategies I follow on YouTube, I want to give you the best advice I possibly can.

My Advice: Don’t try to make money.

I know that probably comes off as strange advice, especially in an article telling you about how to make money on YouTube. But hear me out… The reason why I was successful was because I was making content in a niche that I was passionate about and I had a desire to help people. I added value expecting nothing in return, and my audience was able to pick up on this. If you start a channel with the goal of making a quick buck, your audience will be able to pick up on this self interest and they will not like it. Ever have lunch with an old friend, then halfway through the lunch they try to pitch you on a new business opportunity? That is exactly how your audience will feel if you go at this whole YouTube thing with the goal of making money. It also takes months if not years to build an audience, so you should 100% be creating content in a niche that you are passionate about.

Add value, expecting nothing in return. Then, the money follows.

Alright, rant over. Assuming you have already built an audience and added value, here are some of the best ways to make money on YouTube.

1. Create a viral video.

Ahh… the “low hanging fruit” of a YouTube channel. The reason why I have that in quotes is because this is one of the biggest misconceptions out there about YouTube. People often think the easiest way to make money on YouTube is to create a viral video that gets millions of views and collect an ad revenue check.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had numerous videos on my channel surpass 1 million views and this did earn me tens of thousands of dollars. The only problem is there is no set in stone way for creating a viral video! At the end of the day, it is totally random. Creating a video and hoping that it will go viral is like banking on winning the lottery, well with slightly better odds.

Still, the odds are just not in your favor. Back in 2015, YouTube revealed that there are 300 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute. I would imagine that number has doubled or tripled now. Trying to get millions of eyeballs on your video with all of that content being uploaded each minute is a daunting task. While you can make money in this way, it is not the best strategy.

I see ad revenue as the gravy. I make money by leveraging affiliate marketing, which I will explain later, and selling a course. These are much better strategies in my opinion. While the ad revenue can be a lot of money, it is not an income source that I rely on because it is totally unpredictable.

2. Leverage the Amazon Associates platform.

This is the second way that I started making money with my YouTube channel. In my opinion, this is a much better strategy than simply going after ad revenue and it is taking advantage of something called affiliate marketing. If you aren’t familiar, affiliate marketing is making product recommendations and getting paid for it. We all make recommendations every single day, the difference is some of us are getting paid for it and some of us aren’t.

Amazon has one of the best affiliate programs out there, and it is very easy to get accepted. As an Amazon affiliate, you can recommend just about anything on the site and earn a commission in the process by referring a sale.

Here’s how I would do it. I would mention books I was reading frequently in my videos. I would simply hold up the book and explain why I would recommend reading it, then I would link to it in the description and tell people the link was there. When someone clicked on the link and made a purchase, I earned a commission!

One of the best parts about the Amazon Associates (affiliate) program is that they don’t actually have to buy what you sent them there for in the first place. Yes, you read that correctly. You could send them there for a book, and if they purchase a vacuum cleaner within the next 24 hours, you earn a commission! I use that example because that exact scenario happened to me last year. I sold a $1,500 vacuum after someone clicked on one of my links and earned a commission of over $100.

3. Align with brands for affiliate/sponsor relationships.

As much as I like the Amazon Associates program, this is not where I make the most money. The reason is because this is a low commission environment. Since you can recommend just about anything that is for sale on Amazon, the commissions are low. You are better off in most cases establishing relationships directly with brands.

Since I am in the investing and finance niche, I have reached out to different investing platforms and money saving apps to establish affiliate relationships. For each referral or funded account, I earn a commission in the process.

Once you figure out what niche you are in and build an audience around that topic, it is as simple as reaching out to the big brands in that niche. Actually, a better strategy is to reach out to the small ones! They are often backed by venture capital and have the money to invest in growth as they are trying to gain market share. This can be an affiliate relationship, where you earn a commission for referrals, or just a sponsorship. A sponsorship is when an advertiser pays you for a mention or link to them. It is typically a flat rate.

Personally, I am a fan of the affiliate route over the sponsorship route. If you do your homework and work with brands that align well with your audience, you should be seeing a decent amount of conversions. I have always earned more money from affiliate relationships than sponsorships.

4. Sell a course or digital product.

The final way that I have made money on YouTube is by selling digital products. The first course I launched was a stock market educational course. Over the course of one year, I sold $40,000 worth of that course with almost no advertising. Shortly after that, I created a stock market membership site where users paid me $19 a month for stock tips. At the peak, this was earning me over $6,000 a month.

While this is not my focus now, selling a digital product based around the content you are producing online can be very profitable. You might be wondering why people would bother buying a course or a membership site in the first place. If you can learn for free from YouTube videos, why pay for a course?

The reason people buy courses is because of the convenience. They don’t need to scour the internet or read 10 different books to accumulate all of this information. You have done the leg work for them, which of course comes at a cost!

If you are looking to learn more about creating and selling online courses or membership sites, I actually have a completely free course called Course Creation Companion. And no, it is not a free course that leads you into a paid course. It is a completely free resource I have put together

Final Thoughts

You may have heard of other ways of making money on YouTube including selling merchandise or having people back you on Patreon. I have never had success with these options, so I did not want to include them. I have implemented and made money with all of the above strategies. When it comes down to making money on YouTube, a lot of it is niche dependent. It is a lot easier for a comedy or gaming channel to sell shirts than a finance channel! Your best bet is to try different options over time and see what works for you.

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6 Businesses You Can Start with Less Than $1,000 Wed, 10 Jun 2020 14:56:34 +0000 Starting a business might sound like a far-off financial goal, but it may be more realistic than you think. In fact, you can get started in many fields with a relatively small investment.

Once you start making profits, you can start reinvesting your earnings to continue growing the company.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most lucrative businesses you can get into for $1,000 or less. Starting a company involves time, effort, and a significant amount of risk, but it could earn you a sustainable income if you’re able to find a reliable niche.

1. Dropshipping

  • dropshipping
      • Basics: Dropshipping allows you to sell products to customers without holding any excess inventory. Instead, you’ll order items from a separate supplier who will ship them directly to each buyer.
      • Who it's perfect for: Entrepreneurial types who aren’t afraid of investing time to compete in crowded online marketplaces.
      • Who it's not so great for: Anyone who isn’t prepared to put a lot of time into a project that may not end up going anywhere.

        • Domain name—$25-$50 per year (different websites have different estimates; I don’t have firsthand experience so I’m not exactly sure)
        • Online store—$29 per month for Shopify Basic


        • Customer service and customer relationship management
        • Marketing
        • Supplier relations



    Buying supplies and storing items are two major costs for most businesses. In a physical storefront, for example, most of your expenses would likely stem from buying products and paying rent to store and sell your inventory.

    With that in mind, it can be difficult to start a business on a small budget.

    Dropshipping is an innovative solution to these issues that enables vendors to sell products without holding any inventory. Rather than storing products to sell, you’ll simply buy them as needed from another vendor.

    Suppliers may offer wholesale prices if you’re able to sell in bulk.

    With dropshipping, you don’t need to buy as much inventory when you start the business. You can get started with significantly less than $1,000 and gradually expand the company if you’re successful.

    The first steps toward establishing a successful dropshipping business are identifying the product you want to sell, finding a supplier with decent prices, and setting up an online storefront.

    None of these should be particularly expensive. A Shopify Basic subscription, for example, is just $29 per month along with transaction fees.

    This includes an online storefront with unlimited products plus support for discounted shipping rates, promo codes, gift cards, and other helpful features.

    Of course, you’ll also need a domain name for your new store. In most cases, you should be able to find a domain for less than $25 or $50 per year.

    All things considered, dropshipping is one of the most accessible fields for people who want to start a business on a limited budget.

    On the other hand, this isn’t to say that your new dropshipping business will be a sure thing.

    Ecommerce is intensely competitive, and it can be extremely difficult to stand out in a crowded field. Furthermore, this competition leads vendors to accept relatively small margins on each sale.

    In other words, you’ll probably have to sell a large volume of products in order to turn a substantial profit.

    It’s also worth mentioning that some dropshippers have trouble with scams and dishonest suppliers. Even if you carefully vet suppliers to make sure they’re legit, you’ll still be forced to rely on them in a variety of ways.

    Once you select a supplier, you won’t have any control over their quality control, shipping practices, or return policies.

    2. Writing Books

    • writing books
      Writing Books
        • Basics: With self-publishing more accessible than ever, anyone can write a book and have the opportunity to generate sustainable royalties. Of course, how much you earn ultimately depends on how many people are interested in your book.
        • Who it's perfect for: Creative types, people with unique knowledge or experience.
        • Who it's not so great for: Someone who wants a guaranteed return for their time.

          • Editing
          • Marketing
          • Graphic design
          • Lots of time


          • Creativity
          • Marketing



      Writing was once a difficult field to get into, but publishing your own works is simpler than it sounds. Once your book is on the market, it could go viral, fail to go anywhere at all, or end up somewhere in between.

      In the past, writers had to receive approval from a publisher in order to have the opportunity to reach an audience. While removing that barrier increased the number of books being published, it didn’t make the public start reading more books.

      With that risk in mind, you should only write a book if you’re truly interested in the topic or genuinely believe that your writing will be marketable. Writing is a time-consuming and surprisingly difficult endeavor, and you may be disappointed if you get into it solely for a financial return.

      If you’re interested in publishing your own book, you can try to sell it on your website or through an ecommerce platform like Amazon. In general, selling through your own site helps reduce fees and other costs, but it also makes it more difficult to get your name out there.

      Amazon and services like it take a larger cut in exchange for greater visibility and the reliability of a major online store. Either way, you shouldn’t have to spend any money upfront to put your book online.

      That said, you’ll likely need to spend some money in order to improve the book as much as possible and increase its odds of success. Professional editing, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars even for relatively short texts.

      You’ll also need to pay someone to format your book and create a cover unless you want to take these tasks on yourself. Additionally, some authors spend a significant amount of cash on marketing in order to maximize sales.

      It’s also worth considering the amount of time it will take to create a finished product.

      All things considered, you could easily spend thousands of dollars in the process of developing, publishing, and marketing a book. On the other hand, many authors have been successful with a smaller initial investment.

      If you have the motivation to write a book, you can make it happen on a relatively limited budget.

      3. Photography

      • photography
          • Basics: People hire photographers for weddings, graduations, and a wide range of other events. This business can be incredibly lucrative once you establish yourself as a well-known photographer in your area.
          • Who it's perfect for: Creative types, people who know how to market themselves.
          • Who it's not so great for: People who want to work from home.
          • STARTUP COSTS

            • High-quality cameras—anywhere from $250 to thousands of dollars
            • Lenses—$100 to more than $1,000


            • Photography
            • Marketing and people skills



        Many photographers make good money, and you can usually schedule shoots over the weekend around your day job. On the other hand, it can be a difficult area to break into.

        Like writers, photographers have a much better chance of generating a sustainable income once they get their name out there. Most photographers get clients through a combination of social media and word of mouth referrals.

        Of course, this can vary depending on your focus as a professional photographer.

        With that in mind, photography is all about marketing yourself. You’ll need to be prepared to develop a strong presence on social media and build a reputation for high-quality shots.

        As with authorship, photography is generally best for people who are already interested in the field. It takes time for most photographers to get a sufficient stream of clients, especially if you’re thinking of quitting your day job.

        Although photography certification and degrees are available, plenty of professional photographers achieve success without pursuing any formal credentials.

        If anything, your best option is simply to learn about the craft and become active in online or local photography communities. Your results are more likely than your qualifications to impress prospective clients.

        While it’s possible to start a photography business on a tight budget, you shouldn’t underestimate the price of cameras, lenses, and other necessary equipment. Skilled photographers can take amazing pictures with an iPhone, but it’s tough to become a professional without investing in professional equipment.

        If you want to minimize costs, you can always look for some of these items used rather than new. Secondhand products may not always be as reliable, but buying used may allow you to purchase equipment that would otherwise be out of your price range.

        Furthermore, you shouldn’t necessarily try to find the perfect camera or lens when you’re new to photography. It’s easy to upgrade later on, and you don’t want to invest too much money into your new business upfront.

        Keep in mind that many professionals consider lenses a better investment than cameras. Camera bodies can be superseded quickly, and it’s easy to use the same lens on a series of cameras.

        You’ll naturally gain a better feel for what you need as you improve as a photographer, so try not to spend too much on equipment when you’re starting out.

        4. Freelance Writing

        • freelance writing
          Freelance Writing
            • Basics: Writing a book gives you more control over your creative output, but you can also write for clients as a freelancer for greater job security and other notable benefits. Freelance writers cover everything from blog posts and news articles to promotional copy and scripts for YouTube videos.
            • Who it's perfect for: Telecommuters, creatives.
            • Who it's not so great for: People who have trouble writing quickly.
            • STARTUP COSTS

              • Computer or tablet—$250-$1,000 (or more)

            • REQUIRED SKILLS

              • The ability to write engaging content quickly
              • Marketing and networking



          Web content is being published at a higher rate than ever before, and websites of all kinds hire freelance writers to produce a variety of content. Unlike photography, you can get into freelance writing with nothing more than a computer or tablet.

          If you’re just starting out, you can rely on websites like Upwork and Fiverr to find clients, facilitate payments, and mediate disputes when things go wrong. Both of these sites charge a 20% fee, although Upwork’s fee is reduced to 10% and 5% when you earn $500 and $10,000 with the same client.

          Unfortunately, online freelance writing platforms can be intensely competitive, and asking for a relatively low rate won’t stop other freelancers from undercutting your prices. That said, there are plenty of well-paying positions out there on these websites.

          Another option is to look for part-time or contract positions on more conventional job boards such as Indeed and LinkedIn. Either way, you should expect to apply to a large number of jobs, especially in your first few months as a freelancer.

          As in other crowded fields, the best way to improve your chances of success as a freelance writer is to develop a good reputation. Whether you’re working on a freelancing site or on your own, focus on building up your portfolio and getting your name attached to high-quality articles on well-known sites.

          You can also differentiate yourself from other freelancers by creating a website for your work. Writer websites typically include writing samples, testimonials, contact information, and more along with a description of your skills and range as a writer.

          One of the key benefits of freelance writing compared to many other businesses is that you can earn money from any location as long as you have internet access.

          Additionally, clients won’t be concerned with your work schedule as long as you meet deadlines, respond to communications, and are at least sometimes available during business hours for the occasional meeting.

          All things considered, freelance writing is a great way to make money, whether you’re working a few hours per week over the weekend or using it to generate a full-time income. On the other hand, freelancing can be a grind for new writers, so you should go into it with realistic expectations.

          5. Web Development

          • web development
            Web Development
              • Basics: Web developers are always in demand, and skilled freelancers can set high hourly rates. While learning to code can be intimidating, you can learn basic skills in a relatively short period of time.
              • Who it's perfect for: People who have programming experience or are willing to learn.
              • Who it's not so great for: Anyone who wants to avoid the learning curve.
              • STARTUP COSTS

                • Computer—you don’t need anything particularly advanced, and you can find a decent desktop for around $500 to $700 if you don’t have one already.

              • REQUIRED SKILLS

                • Coding
                • Marketing and networking


                A degree can help you find jobs, but your skills and experience are typically more important

            Web development is a reliable and lucrative field, and even relatively inexperienced programmers can often earn decent rates. The key obstacle to becoming a web developer is learning to code.

            Fortunately, there are a variety of resources out there for new programmers, so web development has never been more accessible. With consistent work, you should be able to develop basic skills in a few months.

            You can also take classes—at a community college, for example—if you’re having trouble making progress on your own.

            Like content writers, web developers can look for work in a variety of ways. Freelance sites are a great way for new programmers to get started, but you can try to find contracts on your own once you have a decent portfolio.

            Highly skilled web developers may also be able to look for full-time jobs.

            Web development is somewhat labor-intensive, especially considering that it could take you months to develop the skills you need to find work. Furthermore, you’ll only be paid for the projects you complete, so it isn’t a great option if you’re looking for passive income.

            That said, web developers make very good money, and freelancing offers great benefits like flexible scheduling and more control over your work-life balance. If you’re willing to spend some time learning how to code—or if you already have experience—web development is an intriguing choice for anyone interested in a new career.

            While you will have to buy a computer to work as a web developer, you don’t need a particularly advanced model. Any modern desktop or laptop should be sufficient for most projects.

            If you don’t already have a computer, decent budget desktops are available starting at around $500.

            6. Graphic Design

            • graphic design
              Graphic Design
                • Basics: Like many other digital fields, graphic design translates perfectly to freelancing. Companies will pay a premium for top graphic designers who provide reliable results.
                • Who it's perfect for: Creative types, telecommuters.
                • Who it's not so great for: People who want passive income or who don’t like marketing themselves.
                • STARTUP COSTS

                  • Computer—while you don’t need a cutting-edge machine, a powerful computer can be helpful for graphic designers. A desktop in the $500-$700 range should be able to handle most graphic design projects, but it’s worth mentioning that many designers use Mac computers.
                  • Graphic design software—cost varies widely depending on the program you want to use. Adobe bundles its entire Creative Cloud suite for $52.99 per month, including Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Acrobat, and Illustrator among other programs.

                • REQUIRED SKILLS

                  • Creativity
                  • Visual design and editing

                • REQUIRED CREDENTIALS

                  Degrees and certification programs are available, but you can find jobs without any formal qualifications.

              Graphic design is another industry that’s perfect for freelancers and telecommuters. As with web development, there are a variety of certification and degree programs available for aspiring graphic designers, but freelancers don’t necessarily need these qualifications to find good contracts.

              While a high-end computer isn’t required, many graphic designers prefer Mac devices. That said, you should be able to get by with your existing computer when you’re starting out.

              Don’t put hundreds of dollars into a new computer until you feel it’s worth the money.

              Graphic design software is another common expense for professional designers. Free programs are also available, but they don’t offer the same features or ease of use.

              Adobe is one of the most popular providers, offering platforms such as Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Illustrator.

              The entire Creative Cloud suite costs $52.99 per month, but you can also subscribe to these programs individually. Illustrator, for example, is available for $20.99 per month.

              Becoming a graphic designer involves many of the same opportunities and challenges that come with other freelance fields. Unsurprisingly, one of the main difficulties is selling your brand to potential clients and convincing them that you’re worth considering over the competition.

              If you’re new to graphic design, you should start by building a portfolio and website to showcase your talents and develop a professional image. You can use some of the same freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find your first jobs, but these can be highly competitive, and it’s easy to be undercut by other freelancers.

              It usually becomes easier to find new jobs once you have some professional experience, so your best option may be to accept a low rate at first to get your name out there. Make sure to proactively market yourself by networking, building a social media presence, and using SEO strategies to make your site more visible.

              Graphic design can be difficult to break into, but it’s an excellent field for freelancers who are willing to spend time building their skills and portfolio. Keep in mind that you may have the opportunity to transition to a graphic design firm if you’re looking for more stability.

              Merchant Cash Advance: What Is an MCA and Should I Get One? Sun, 01 Mar 2020 21:18:49 +0000 If you’ve been having cash flow issues and you need to find a solution fast to keep your small business afloat, you’ve probably come across the idea of a merchant cash advance.

              If you’re having trouble understanding the concept, or your eyes glazed over after five minutes of reading terms everyone apparently thinks you should know, but you don’t — don’t worry. We’ll help you figure out exactly what a merchant cash advance (MCA) is so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your business.

              Merchant Cash Advance Basics

              Before you decide if an MCA is right for you, you have to understand it a bit better. We’ll try to make this as painless as possible for you by breaking down MCAs into understandable language.

              What Is a Merchant Cash Advance?

              First off, let’s start by saying what an MCA isn’t. It’s not a loan, no matter how much it sounds like a loan or how many people present it as a loan. With a loan, you’ll receive money upfront, and you’ll be assigned terms, such as an annual percentage rate, a monthly due date, and a regular installment payment amount.

              An MCA will give you money upfront, just as a loan will. But that’s where the similarities end. Rather than acting as a loan, an MCA is more like a cash advance based upon the future credit card sales of your business.

              In exchange for the money you’re given, you’re promising to pay that money back, as well as any fees, by giving the MCA company a portion of your credit card sales you make each day. The amount you will pay each day depends upon the factor rate you’re assigned and how much you generate in sales.

              Who Is a Merchant Cash Advance For?

              An MCA can be obtained by small business owners. Those who consider them are usually pretty desperate for fast cash.

              Typically, these business owners need the money in a hurry for things like making payroll, buying more inventory, purchasing needed equipment, or covering building expenses.

              How Do Merchant Cash Advances Work?

              Understanding how MCAs work is a key factor in deciding whether they’re right for you, or if they’ll be harmful to your long-term business plan rather than helpful.

              With an MCA, you’ll be given a lump sum advance as well as a factor rate by the MCA company. The factor rate is generally in the ballpark of 1.1 to 1.6, although it can be lower or higher in certain circumstances and depending upon the company you choose to do business with.

              The factor rate you’re given is based on the company’s perceived risk of giving you that advance. The higher the factor rate, the more you’ll have to pay back to the company.

              Let’s say, as an example, you receive a $100,000 advance. How much will you have to pay back? Let’s play with the numbers and see.

              • If you have a factor rate of 1.2, you’ll pay $120,000.
              • Those with a factor rate of 1.3 will pay $130,000.
              • A factor rate of 1.4 will result in a payback amount of $140,000.
              • If you have a factor rate of 1.5, you’ll have to pay $150,000.

              There is a big difference between paying a total of $120,000 compared to $150,000. That’s why the factor rate you’re given is so crucial.

              How much you’re expected to pay per day will vary depending upon the term length of your MCA and what percentage of your sales the MCA company keeps each day.

              If you have a nine-month agreement and your advance is $100,000 with a factor rate of 1.4, you can expect to have to make average daily payments in the $740 range. That’s entirely based on your daily credit card sales, but on average, you’d have to make daily payments of $740 toward your cash advance to dig yourself out in approximately nine months.

              If the MCA company gives you a holdback percentage of, let’s say, 15 percent of your sales, that means for every $1,000 in sales you have, $150 of that money would be sent straight to your MCA company.

              If you were trying to cover an estimated daily payment of $740, you would need to make about $5,000 in sales every day. If you consistently have less, your grand total wouldn’t be paid off within your nine-month window. If you consistently have more than that in sales, you would pay it off sooner.

              Pros of a Merchant Cash Advance

              It’s no secret that MCAs aren’t a good deal because you’ll have to pay back way more generally with this funding option than you will with any other. So why would anyone take one out? They do have some good things about them that make them attractive to a certain subset of business owners.

              You Don’t Risk Being Homeless

              MCA companies can try to get back their losses when your business isn’t doing well and you are at risk of not paying them back. But, unlike a personal loan where you might have to put up your personal residence as collateral, MCAs are typically unsecured. That means your home isn’t up for grabs if you’re having issues repaying.

              One way MCA companies may try to get around this, though, is by asking you to sign a personal guarantee, which says that paying back the advance is your responsibility. Not all MCA companies require this guarantee, though — do your homework before you sign.

              You’ll Get Money Quickly

              If you try to land a traditional loan, you’re going to be waiting for a while. Brick and mortar banks are starting to get faster about issuing loans, thanks to the competition from online lenders. But even still, you have a lot of red tape to get through as bank officials determine if your business is too much of a risk.

              You may have to wait weeks for a traditional bank to decide if they’ll take a gamble on you. For online lenders if you pursue a personal loan, the process is much faster, but it can still take days in some cases.

              With some MCAs, you can have the money in as little as a day. And if you’re using it to make payroll, you might agree to anything to spare yourself the embarrassment of admitting you don’t have enough money to pay everyone on time.

              You Don’t Need an Outstanding Credit Score

              MCAs generate a lot of money for companies. MCA companies know their best bet for landing a customer is opening up MCAs to business owners who don’t have the best credit. That’s because this segment of business owners don’t have a lot of other options when they need money fast.

              If you have poor credit, a merchant cash advance can provide the temporary relief you need.

              The Payments Are Based on Your Sales

              If you’re having an off month, you don’t have to worry about making a huge installment payment that never fluctuates, even if your sales have been non-existent for a few days. MCAs only take a percentage of your sales, and if those are slow, you’ll pay less during that time.

              That can be attractive for people who don’t want a big payment looming each month, or those who make a lot of seasonal-dependent sales.

              You Won’t Face Late Fees Each Month

              Since you don’t have to make an installment payment because your payback is based on your sales, you don’t run the risk of missing your payment each month. That means you won’t be subject to the possible monthly late fees you might have with a personal loan.

              The Application Process Is Easy

              You don’t have to fill out much paperwork when applying for an MCA. That’s a major perk for people who are intimidated by all the paperwork that comes with loans.

              Cons of a Merchant Cash Advance

              While MCAs do have some silver linings, they also have a few significant drawbacks.

              It’s Just a Temporary Band-Aid

              If you get to the point where you need an MCA, your business might be in trouble. Unless it’s a one-time fluke, you might need to keep slapping Band-Aids on your business in the future with additional costly MCAs.

              An MCA won’t be a long-term solution for a flailing business.

              They Are Super Costly

              Although APRs aren’t disclosed for MCAs, when calculated in retrospect, they can easily reach triple digits. Personal loans are far more cost-effective if the small business owner qualifies for them.

              You’ll Have Less Freedom Over Some Business Decisions

              The terms of your MCA agreement may temporarily stop you from making decisions that are in the best interest of your business. If, for instance, you learned it was more profitable to change to another credit card processing company, there may be a clause in your agreement preventing you from making the switch.

              MCAs Aren’t As Tightly Regulated As Loans

              MCAs don’t face as many regulations as the heavily-watched loan industry does. Since MCAs aren’t considered a loan, they don’t have to abide by the same laws that loans do. That can be risky for business owners who may not understand what they are getting into.

              They Can Hurt Your Credit Score

              Some business owners turn to MCAs because of their poor credit scores. But they don’t realize that, depending on the MCA company, the application might result in a hard pull on their credit score. That can lower their credit score, although most of the damage is gone after about 90 days.

              How to Get a Merchant Cash Advance

              Interested in getting an MCA but aren’t sure about the steps you’ll have to take? Here’s what you’ll have to do.

              Step 1: Do Your Research

              There are a lot of MCA companies to choose from out there. Look at their websites, read the fine print, and pay attention to any reviews from prior customers. If a company consistently gets bad ratings, run in the other direction and find a different company.

              Step 2: Fill Out the Online Application Form

              Generally, this should be an easy process. It won’t take long to complete the initial form.

              Step 3: Collect and Attach Any Requested Documentation

              Some things you can expect to provide include your business tax ID number, business and personal bank statements, and documentation showing your weekly or monthly credit card sales.

              Step 4: The Waiting Phase

              You’ll have to wait a short while, generally a day or two, to see if you are approved.

              Step 5: Reviewing the Agreement

              The MCA company will send you an agreement to look over. Pay special attention to things like your factor rate, the payback period, whether they require you to sign a personal guarantee, and any other fine print.

              Read the whole document from start to finish. After that, you should play with the numbers a bit and look honestly at how the MCA, if accepted, would impact your business.

              Step 6: Accept or Decline the Agreement

              Even though you’ve come this far with the process, you still have the power to say no if you feel the MCA isn’t in your best interest. If you want to go ahead with it, agree to the contract. You may need to begin using a new credit card processor, but that will depend upon your MCA company.

              Step 7: Receive the Money

              The money will be deposited in your company’s bank account. Repayment will begin right away.

              Alternatives to a Merchant Cash Advance

              Not sold on getting an MCA? Don’t worry. There are plenty of other alternatives you can explore.

              Trimming the Fat from Your Business

              • trimming the fat from your business
                  • Basics: Being a boss is never easy. Before you get roped into an MCA, figure out if there are ways to make your business more profitable. Maybe you won’t need an advance at all if you can implement enough money-saving changes, like cutting staff, subleasing part of your business building, and saving on other expenses.
                  • Pros: It’s just good business to do this. You’ll be improving your business for years to come.
                  • Cons: You might have to make some hard decisions.
                  • COST

                    Little to no cost.

                  • TIME REQUIRED

                    It will require a small-to-moderate time commitment, depending upon how many changes you dream up and implement.

                  • SUCCESS RATE

                    Your odds of success depend upon how many cost-cutting measures you make.

                Partnering Up

                • Partnering Up
                    • Basics: There’s safety in numbers. Bringing in a partner to your business reduces some of the financial strain you’ll be feeling. If they buy into your business with a lump sum, you might not need that MCA.
                    • Pros: You’ll no longer feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You can split up the work and the responsibilities of the job, and maybe even take some time off.
                    • Cons: You and your partner might not agree on the future path the business should take.
                    • COST

                      The only cost you might have is drafting up a legal document showing joint ownership of the business. But you will also have to share future profits.

                    • TIME REQUIRED

                      This solution doesn’t require much time at all.

                    • SUCCESS RATE

                      If you find the right partner, this idea is a slam dunk.

                  Asking for Help from Family

                  • Asking for Help from Family
                      • Basics: If your family is relatively wealthy, why not ask them to invest in your business? They could become silent backers and you could pay them back, with interest, over time.
                      • Pros: You can get a much more attractive interest rate with family than you can through an MCA.
                      • Cons: Your pride might take a hit -- you might feel a little embarrassed to ask family for money. You also risk damaging your relationship with that relative if the venture fails.
                      • COST

                        No cost to you, but you could save a lot of money over time.

                      • TIME REQUIRED

                        Just the amount of time it takes you to work out the deal.

                      • SUCCESS RATE

                        That depends on your family’s wealth, how much they trust you, and if they are willing to take a gamble on your business.

                    Get a Personal Loan

                    • get a personal loan
                        • Basics: Instead of getting an MCA, you could apply for a personal loan.
                        • Pros: It would be cheaper for you to pay back than an MCA would.
                        • Cons: Your application might not be accepted if you have poor credit.
                        • COST

                          You can apply for free and examine what the terms will cost you if you accept the agreement.

                        • TIME REQUIRED

                          In the time it takes you to watch a television show, you can have the application process completed.

                        • SUCCESS RATE

                          If you’ve handled your finances well in the past, your chances of success are pretty high.

                      Tapping Home Equity

                      • Tapping Home Equity
                          • Basics: If you have been a homeowner for a while, made a sizeable down payment, or have seen a big increase in your home property value, you could use your home equity to keep your business afloat.
                          • Pros: If you refinance and take the equity in cash, you won’t be saddled with a monthly loan payment, other than the mortgage you were already paying.
                          • Cons: Refinancing for another 20 or 30 years can be a big blow to your retirement plans if you are already in your 40s or 50s.
                          • COST

                            You’ll have to pay the refinancing costs.

                          • TIME REQUIRED

                            Refinancing a mortgage is a pretty quick process, though you’ll have to arrange for things like a home appraisal and signing the paperwork.

                          • SUCCESS RATE

                            If you have home equity and a fair credit score, you’ll likely be granted the refinance.

                        Frequently Asked Questions

                        When people first consider an MCA, there are some common questions that usually come up.

                        • How long are the repayment periods?

                          Generally, most companies have a timeframe of three to 18 months in which they want to have the advance and fees paid back.

                        • How much of a holdback percentage do most companies required?

                          The holdback percentage is how much the MCA company will keep from each credit card payment your business receives. The percentage will depend upon the MCA company you’re considering and other factors such as your typical daily credit card sales. But, usually, most companies institute a holdback percentage of anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent.

                        • How long does it take to get the money?

                          Money from an MCA can be received within one business day of applying and accepting the contract. It isn’t always that fast, though. Sometimes it can take up to 5 days instead. You can influence how quickly you get the advance by responding to inquiries or documentation requests quickly.

                        • Will the MCA company determine how the money can be used?

                          Once the advance is deposited in your company’s bank account, you will determine how to use it. You can use it for things like payroll, business improvements, inventory, or building maintenance. That’s generally up to you.

                        • Can I pay off my MCA early?

                          You can if you want. But you won’t be saving yourself any money by doing so. If you’ve agreed to repay the advance plus fees, you’ll have to pay the full amount whether you do it in the agreed-upon 12-month timeframe or months earlier. You won’t save yourself any money like you would if you were paying off an installment loan faster.

                        Merchant Cash Advance Relief: 8 Strategies to Escape an Expensive MCA Fri, 21 Feb 2020 03:36:09 +0000 When business owners need cash quickly to take care of immediate debts, they sometimes turn to merchant cash advances. These advances allow businesses to quickly shore up any holes in their finances. That can be especially appealing for business owners who don’t have the time to wait for a traditional lender to decide their fate or who are worried their credit score will result in their loan request being denied.

                        But sometimes, entrepreneurs realize that a merchant cash advance is no longer in their best interest. They begin to think about merchant cash advance relief.  When that happens, it’s time to focus on damage control. That means coming up with an exit strategy that will do as little damage as possible.

                        Getting out of an MCA can be tricky because they aren’t loans, and they aren’t as tightly regulated as the loan industry.

                        Logan’s Note: As a CPA, I’ve developed a network of trusted professionals to help business owners obtain merchant cash advance relief. If you are dealing with $50,000 or more in high-interest business debt, please email me directly at with the subject line HELP – BUSINESS DEBT.

                        Why Merchant Cash Advances Are So Terrible

                        MCAs are widely used, so it’s normal to wonder, “How bad can they be if people keep using them?”

                        While they are one option for funding that business owners have, they are near the bottom of solutions business owners should look at when they need money. People should exhaust all their other options before turning to merchant cash advances. And if they’re locked into one, they should strongly consider getting out. Let’s look at the reasons why.

                        Merchant Cash Advances Are Predatory and Use Deceptive Advertising

                        What makes MCAs so dangerous is that they generally aren’t straightforward about their terms. The deceptive practices and language someone who takes out one of these cash advances may face includes:

                        • Through-the-roof APRs: Merchant cash advance companies can make the offer look attractive without actually informing a business owner that they may pay an astronomical annual percentage rate. Clever wording can trick a business owner into thinking they are getting a much better rate than they really are. They may use terms like “specified percentage” that can make people think that’s their APR, when it’s not.
                        • Confessions of judgments: Since many people confuse merchant cash advances with loans, they sometimes don’t read the fine print. Often these companies require their customers to sign a confession of judgment before they give the business owner any money. A confession of judgment may be a new term for business owners. But they should never agree to it. It gives the merchant cash advance company an unfair advantage — they can use it to collect money from their customers without having a trial, even if the debt is under dispute.

                        Merchant Cash Advances Take Advantage of Desperate Business Owners

                        When business owners turn to MCAs, it’s usually because they’ve exhausted all other options. They are in a major bind and the lenders know it. They can get away with charging sky-high APRs, just as payday lenders do with their customers.

                        People who agree to MCAs generally need money fast to keep their businesses open and paying the bills. They often don’t have the best credit scores. Since people can get their cash quickly and they won’t be denied as they might for traditional business loans, they are willing to agree to things they might ordinarily not.

                        To make matters worse, many business owners don’t understand how expensive an MCA is because MCA brokers make them sound much more affordable than they actually are. And once they are using an MCA, it can be hard to exit because they’ll keep using them just to stay afloat. It’s comparable to people who take out another predatory payday loan to pay off the first one they took out. It can be a never-ending cycle of debt. MCA brokers know that and count on it for repeat business.

                        Merchant Cash Advances Are Intentionally Confusing

                        Remember earlier when we referenced confessions of judgment? That’s just one way in which MCAs are intentionally confusing. Most business owners won’t have a clue as to what that means. They’ll just sign the agreement eagerly anyway to get a quick infusion of cash to stay afloat.

                        Merchant cash advance companies don’t want their potential customers to figure out how bad of a deal they’re being offered. Never mentioning potential APRs adds to the confusion.

                        Instead of using APRs, which business owners are used to with their other loans, they need to try to figure out their factor rate and what it might mean to their daily sales. Since they aren’t used to dealing with this repayment method, they might not fully grasp how much money they’ll be handing over every day through their sales.

                        Also, some companies issuing the cash advance may not be upfront about any hidden fees contained in the contract. By making the contracts intentionally confusing, borrowers don’t understand they’ve been misled until it’s too late.

                        Merchant Cash Advances Are Extremely Expensive

                        Although APRs aren’t disclosed for MCAs, they can reach into the triple digits. These agreements are also expensive because of all the fees attached to them and because there aren’t as many regulations in place.

                        And if you aren’t careful, taking out an MCA can ultimately cost you your business because of how expensive they are.

                        Merchant Cash Advances Are Hard to Get Out Of

                        After entering into one of these agreements, business owners generally quickly see how expensive they truly are. But when they explore their options for merchant cash advance relief, they are often discouraged. It can feel like you’ve sold your soul to the devil, that there’s no way to get out of this agreement.

                        They’ll learn when reviewing exit strategies that MCA lenders can place liens on their business and potentially their personal assets. They’ll learn their accounts can be frozen. That’s scary stuff, especially for desperate business owners. If they’re having trouble keeping their business doors open, they aren’t going to have money to hire a lawyer to sort this all out for them. So, they feel stuck, as if there is nothing they can do. They think their only choice is to keep paying.

                        While it’s not impossible to exit an MCA, it can be difficult. Those who are stuck in an agreement they want to get out of have eight viable solutions, although some won’t be pleasant.

                        8 Strategies to Escape Your Merchant Cash Advance

                        If you’ve entered into one of these agreements and you’ve realized it’s a terrible fit for you and your business, you need to look at solutions. How can you find merchant cash advance relief?

                        1. Increase Profitability

                        • Increase Profitability
                            • Basics: You find ways to make more money with your business or cut down on overhead.
                            • Pros: You’ll make more money and have a better business model when the MCA is paid off. You’ll pay off the MCA faster by making more profit.
                            • Cons: It will require a lot of brainstorming and work.
                            • Cost

                              Unless you’re adding a new product line, the cost of finding more profits will be low.

                            • Time Required

                              It can take a considerable amount of time to brainstorm, crunch numbers, and implement changes.

                            • Success Rate

                              If you make an honest effort, your success rate should be 100 percent. The smallest of steps, like lowering your business’s thermostat during the winter or finding a cheaper internet provider for your business, is something everyone can do, but the question is whether these small steps are enough.

                          By maximizing your profits, you’ll be able to pay off your MCA much faster. Let’s say you have taken a $10,000 cash advance and you have a factor rate of 1.4. You’ll have to pay back a total of $14,000. Let’s say you have a holdback rate of 10 percent, meaning 10 percent off of every credit card sale is sent directly to pay off your MCA.

                          If you make $1,000 in sales per day, you will be paying back $100 each day until your cash advance and fees are paid off. If you could increase those sales to $1,500 per day, you could pay it off much faster and rid yourself of the MCA that’s dragging you down.

                          Not sure how to boost your profits? Here are some tried and true methods you can explore. By implementing several of these at once, you’ll see quicker results.

                          • Increase prices: If you offer services at your business, mark up the per hour or per project rate. If you’re selling items, consider a small mark-up on each product or your biggest sellers.
                          • Incorporate a new product or service: Figure out what kind of goods or services will sell well in your area and add them to your business.
                          • Improve your marketing efforts: Getting the word out about your business or advertising to the right customer base can give your business a boost.
                          • Eliminate some overhead: Can you save any building or operations costs that will put more money in your pocket? Perhaps you can keep your business a couple of degrees colder in the winter or cut out the cleaning lady at your business if you’re able to pitch in a bit more.
                          • Make sure every position is necessary: Do you have any employees who aren’t pulling their weight or a position that isn’t necessary? Trimming the fat can be hard when you’re the boss, but it’s something that’s vital for a successful business.
                          • Add rush fees to your service: If you have the type of business where people will pay more for quick service, add a service fee for immediate service.
                          • Network more: This can help grow your business through partnerships with other companies and increase your customer base.

                          2. Take Out a Personal Loan

                          • Take Out a Personal Loan
                              • Basics: Take out a personal loan and pay off your MCA.
                              • Pros: A personal loan can get you the money quickly. You’ll have a fixed amount to pay each month — you’ll know what it is so there are no surprises.
                              • Cons: Without a good credit score, you may be denied or face high APRs.
                              • Cost

                                Moderate. There is no cost to apply for a loan, but the fees you face may be significant. Check any loan offers for hidden fees, such as origination, prepayment, and more.

                              • Time Required

                                Within an hour or two, you can research and apply to loans online.

                              • Success Rate

                                Low, unless your credit score has improved since you’ve taken out your MCA.

                            While your experience with an MCA may have left you understandably shell-shocked when it comes to wanting to take out a loan, it can be a good exit strategy for you. Even if you pay a higher APR than you’d like, you might still be money ahead by doing so.

                            This option is going to be much easier if you’ve built up better credit than you had when you agreed to the cash advance. The higher your credit score, the more attractive your loan offers are going to be.

                            3. Add a Business Partner

                            • Add a Business Partner
                                • Basics: Take on a business partner who will buy into your business with a lump-sum investment. Use that money to pay off your MCA.
                                • Pros: You’ll get an infusion of cash and reap the other benefits of having a partner.
                                • Cons: You’ll have to relinquish some control and split the profits.
                                • Cost

                                  There would be no immediate cost to you. You would, however, lose half of the future profits of your business.

                                • Time Required

                                  It’s a low time commitment method.

                                • Success Rate

                                  That depends on a number of factors — how sound your business model is, what you need for a buy-in payment, and how well you can network to find a partner.

                              This won’t work for everyone because some people enjoy owning businesses on their own. But if you wouldn’t mind having a partner, this could be an effective strategy. Since you would already have the business set up, your potential partner could buy into the business with a lump sum.

                              While having a partner isn’t for everyone, it can be a tremendous asset to a business in multiple ways, including:

                              • You have extra accountability: When you’re responsible for someone else’s dream and not just your own, you may work harder and be more motivated.
                              • More hands on deck: You won’t have to do all the work by yourself.
                              • Brainstorming sessions: More people means more ideas about how to improve your business model.
                              • More resources: A partner can mean more financial resources to improve your business or get through lean times.

                              4. Try to Negotiation a Restructure with Your Lender on Your Own

                              • Try to Negotiation a Restructure with Your Lender on Your Own
                                  • Basics: Contact your MCA company and ask if they can restructure the MCA so it’s more favorable for you.
                                  • Pros: It could save you money, and it’s always easier to work with a company than fight against them.
                                  • Cons: It would be hard to negotiate, especially if you don’t have much trust with the company because you feel your MCA was unfair and poorly explained to you.
                                  • Cost

                                    That depends on what they may charge you to exit the existing agreement and enter into another.

                                  • Time Required

                                    It would require a moderate time commitment on your part to make sure you fully understand the terms and repercussions. That can require a lot of research on your part.

                                  • Success Rate

                                    This has a low chance of working. Because of the way MCAs are structured and how confusing they are, you’d stand a better chance with a professional in your corner.

                                Some lenders will be more receptive to this than others. But it’s worth a shot. Some companies would rather enter into another agreement with you where they’ll make less money than lose you as a customer altogether.

                                Think of how credit card companies or cable television companies work. They charge as much as they can for their fees or services until you threaten to take your business elsewhere. Suddenly, they’re sending you offers of reduced APRs and give you a reduced-price cable package for a few months.

                                They won’t send you those offers out of the goodness of their hearts. You’ll have to play hardball first by threatening to take your business somewhere else. Be polite, but firm. Call the company that gave you the cash advance and tell them you want to restructure it into something that has more favorable terms or you’ll find another company that will give you a better offer. It’s unlikely to work, but you never know.

                                5. Try to Obtain a Deferment or Forbearance Agreement on Your Own

                                • Try to Obtain a Deferment or Forbearance Agreement on Your Own
                                    • Basics: A forbearance or deferment can give you time to recover from the daily hit your business is taking because of your MCA.
                                    • Pros: It would give you a brief respite from the daily collection of the MCA.
                                    • Cons: It’s unlikely the company will agree to one. If they do, you’ll be facing additional fees.
                                    • Cost

                                      The cost over time could be substantial because of the extra fees the company may tack on to your terms.

                                    • Time Required

                                      It would require a minimal time investment.

                                    • Success Rate

                                      It would be difficult and confusing to do on your own. Even if the company agreed to it, you might be digging yourself in deeper with worse terms. It’s better to have a professional helping you, and even then, it might not be a good option for you.

                                  If you can no longer afford to pay the cash advance without the possibility of your business going under, you can call the company that issued it and ask about potentially obtaining a deferment or forbearance for a short term until you can get back on your feet.

                                  You’ll have to have a compelling reason why things will be better for your business when the deferment period is done. If you don’t have that, there is little reason for a company to agree to your request.

                                  For example, you may have a monthly installment loan that ends in a couple of months that will free up a lot of cash. Or perhaps the holidays are coming up, and you can show receipts from prior years that show business always picks up substantially then. Those might be reasons for a company to defer an MCA.

                                  6. Get Professional Help

                                  • Get Professional Help
                                      • Basics: You get outside help to exit your MCA with as little damage to your business and personal assets as possible.
                                      • Pros: You have fewer chances of being duped with a professional helping you. It can be less stressful knowing you’re in good hands.
                                      • Cons: It may cost you a fee, but it may pale in comparison to continuing to pay on your merchant cash advance.
                                      • Cost

                                        It varies.

                                      • Time Required

                                        It won’t require as much time from you because your professional will be doing a lot of the work.

                                      • Success Rate

                                        It’s much higher than attempting to do it on your own.

                                    Finding a team of professionals who has dealt with situations like yours may be your best bet.

                                    This small step can get you started on the process of ridding yourself once and for all of your MCA.

                                    Logan’s Note: As a CPA, I’ve developed a network of trusted professionals to help business owners obtain merchant cash advance relief. If you are dealing with $50,000 or more in high-interest business debt, please email me directly at with the subject line HELP – BUSINESS DEBT.

                                    7. Write to Your State Representative

                                    • Write to Your State Representative
                                        • Basics: Contact your state representative or attorney general to let them know how predatory MCAs are impacting your business and find out if there is any relief you can pursue.
                                        • Pros: You can call attention to an issue that’s affecting many businesses. You could spark a real change in legislation.
                                        • Cons: Despite your best efforts, laws or regulations may not change in your state regarding MCAs, so you could be wasting your time.
                                        • Cost

                                          Despite your best efforts, laws or regulations may not change in your state regarding MCAs, so you could be wasting your time.

                                        • Time Required

                                          A small time commitment to draft letters and make phone calls.

                                        • Success Rate

                                          Low. It’s unlikely anything will be done in time to help you exit your MCA. But you might be helping future business owners by speaking up.

                                      Realistically, some politicians won’t care about your plight. But others will, especially if they see your case as a means to attack the industry as a whole and make a name for themselves.

                                      Although there can be a sense of distrust toward politicians in today’s times, there are still politicians willing to take on lucrative and powerful industries.

                                      Some states, like New York, have put tighter rules in place against predatory MCAs. Finding out what your state’s laws and regulations are regarding predatory MCAs may help you.

                                      8. Declare Bankruptcy

                                      • Declare Bankruptcy
                                          • Basics: Declaring bankruptcy can get you out of your MCA when all else fails.
                                          • Pros: You’d be wiping the slate clean, not having to pay the MCA anymore.
                                          • Cons: There are a lot of cons to this strategy. Emotionally, filing bankruptcy can take its toll on people. In addition, you’ll be hurting your future. You’ll lower your credit score and will have a hard time getting loans for years to come.
                                          • Cost

                                            The cost of bankruptcy may not seem bad upfront, but over time, you’ll pay so much more for car loans, personal loans, and a mortgage because of your lower credit score.

                                          • Time Required

                                            You’ll spend a fair amount of time on the process and taking steps to rebuild your credit.

                                          • Success Rate

                                            It’s highly successful but destructive to your future.

                                        This option isn’t something to enter lightly into. Filing bankruptcy can have implications for every aspect of your life. It can affect how people see you and how you see yourself.

                                        Filing bankruptcy to get out of an MCA should truly be your last resort.

                                        National Funding Review 2023: Loans for Small Businesses Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:00:49 +0000 The small business loan is one of the most difficult loans to get approved for. These products can make or break your company’s success at crucial turning points. But without the history, revenue, or credit score required by many lenders, you may find yourself out of luck.

                                        Thankfully, there are lenders like National Funding that make small business loans accessible to almost everyone. Not only does National Funding provide short-term loans to business owners who may otherwise get denied elsewhere, but it also finances and leases equipment that you might need in order to operate.

                                        So what exactly does National Funding do? And why is it so different from many traditional small business lenders?

                                        What Is National Funding?

                                        Based in California, National Funding is a small business lender specializing in loans and financing for businesses that otherwise might not get approved for funding.

                                        The company offers three different products for borrowers:

                                        1. Short-term small business loans
                                        2. Equipment financing
                                        3. Equipment leasing

                                        National Funding has originated more than $2 billion to more than 40,000 small businesses since its founding.

                                        These business loans are available in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $500,000, while equipment financing is available up to $150,000.

                                        Who Is National Funding Best For?

                                        National Funding is good option for small business owners who need working capital or equipment but who don’t qualify for business loans elsewhere.

                                        Keep in mind that National Funding doesn’t cater just to the established small business borrower. It approves a whopping 60% of small business loan applications, including many of those from newer businesses that don’t have seven-figure revenues or whose owners might have personal credit scores less than “excellent.”

                                        The National Funding Application Process

                                        Applying for a small business loan or equipment funding through National Funding is fairly straightforward. However, all business loan applications require a bit more work than personal loans.

                                        The initial online application takes only a few minutes to complete. You’ll need to provide your:

                                        • Name and business name
                                        • Phone number and email address
                                        • Business address
                                        • Time in business and annual gross sales
                                        National Funding Application
                                        The initial loan application takes only a few minutes and can be completed on your desktop or phone.

                                        This initial submission won’t affect your credit in any way. However, the form won’t ask you to provide National Funding with any information about your borrowing needs (or even the type of funding you need). Nor will the company give you any sort of immediate answer.

                                        Instead, a loan specialist will contact you in the following 24 hours to discuss your loan needs and qualifications.

                                        If you like, you can provide additional information at this time through the site’s Prequalification Form. This form may help your loan specialist make a faster decision and speed up the underwriting once you’re approved for funding.

                                        National Funding Prequal
                                        Filling out the National Funding Prequalification Form can help speed up the underwriting process.

                                        For this portion of the process, you’ll need to provide more in-depth information. That includes giving National Funding your:

                                        • Home address
                                        • Date of birth
                                        • Social Security number

                                        You’ll also electronically sign your prequalification form at this time.

                                        Once a National Funding representative contacts you, you’ll be able to discuss your business’ funding needs, what you qualify to borrow, and what sort of rates you’ll be eligible to receive. Your application will be underwritten at that time, as well, assuming that you’re approved for funding.

                                        However, don’t worry if National Funding denies your first small business loan application. You can try again in 30 days by simply resubmitting your application through National Funding. Be sure to update any information that may have changed in the time since your initial application.

                                        National Funding Options

                                        There are three categories of funding to choose from through National Funding. There are short-term small business loans, equipment financing, and equipment leasing options available, depending on exactly what you need.

                                        Small Business Lending

                                        There are many reasons for taking out a small business loan. You can use the capital to grow your company, expand your reach, buy out a competitor, or cover expenses during down seasons, among many other uses.

                                        National Funding specializes in short-term small business loans aimed at businesses that might not have the longevity, income history, or credit score necessary to get approved for traditional bank loans. These short-term loans are available in amounts ranging from $5,000 up to $500,000, with terms from six to 15 months long.

                                        National Funding Loan Proces
                                        There are three steps to the straightforward National Funding loan review process.

                                        You don’t need the best credit for one of these loans, either. You have a good chance at approval as long as:

                                        • Your business has been around for at least a year,
                                        • It brings in annual gross sales of at least $150,000, and
                                        • You have a personal credit score higher than 575.

                                        Equipment Financing and Leasing

                                        Many small businesses need equipment in order to run successfully. Depending on your industry, this could mean everything from office computers and printers to heavy machinery (like bulldozers and forklifts), medical equipment, and even company vehicles.

                                        If your small business is looking to take the next step, expand, or simply replace broken or worn machinery, equipment financing through National Funding can make all the difference in the world. With National Funding, you can either finance your equipment purchase with no money down or lease that equipment directly.

                                        Equipment financing is available for up to $150,000, and you’ll find out the decision in as little as 24 hours. Rates are competitive, and the underwriters consider your equipment to be collateral. Oh, and did I mention that there’s no deposit or down payment required?

                                        National Funding Qualifications
                                        Your approval odds are good as long as you meet these three criteria.

                                        There are only a handful of things you need to qualify for either equipment financing or leasing:

                                        • Your business needs to have been around for at least six months,
                                        • You need to have a FICO score above 575, and
                                        • You need to be able to provide a quote for the equipment from a licensed vendor.

                                        What Are National Funding’s Interest Rates?

                                        It’s not easy to find rates on National Funding’s website. Unlike many other lenders, the company doesn’t advertise its typical APR ranges, and you cannot get pre-approval for a loan product without actually submitting an application first and waiting for a loan specialist to contact you with options.

                                        However, after searching around, we found that National Funding’s short-term small business loans are not based on APR. Rather, small business loans are available for $5,000 to $500,000, depending on your company’s needs. National Funding advertises interest as “factor rates.” (Note: National Funding was not able to provide us with its current factor rates at this time.)

                                        It’s easy to determine how much your loan will cost you based on the factor rate the company offers you. Simply multiply your borrowed amount by your factor rate and you’ll get your total out-of-pocket cost for the loan.

                                        So if you’re borrowing $200,000 for your business and National Funding gives you a factor rate of 1.24, for example, you’ll pay back a total of $248,000. The additional $48,000 includes your interest charged, origination fees, and any other applicable expenses involved with your loan.

                                        All About Factor Rates

                                        Unless you’ve taken out a short-term small business loan before, you might not even know what factor rates are. However, if you’re unaware of how a provider applies factor rates to your loan, you might be shocked by the total cost.

                                        Factor rates typically include all of your loan’s expenses, such as interest and origination fees, and are applied to your total loan amount once, at origination. This rate is not compounded over the course of your repayment, which means that the interest paid each month doesn’t decrease over time.

                                        Rather, essentially, National Funding charges you the total cost of the loan upfront. It applies your factor rate to the loan on day one. You’ll then pay off that total balance in equal payments according to your agreed schedule.

                                        Why does this matter? Well, with a more traditional loan, an early payoff can help save you quite a bit in interest. That’s because the loan provider applies your interest rate to your principal balance at regular intervals. Paying down the principal early means paying lower interest over the life of the loan.

                                        However, with factor rates, you’ll pay the full interest amount regardless of when you pay down the balance. Making extra principal payments doesn’t matter, either, nor will it save you any money.

                                        The only way to save with a loan of this structure is to take advantage of an early payoff offer, such as the one provided by National Funding. As a working capital customer, you’re offered a 7% discount on the remaining balance if you pay off your loan in the first 100 days. Depending on how quickly you make that final payment and your overall loan amount, this could save you quite a bit in the end.

                                        Is National Funding Legit?

                                        Founded in San Diego back in 1999, National Funding has been providing loans, equipment financing, and leasing to small businesses for more than two decades. The company has supplied loans to more than 40,000 businesses in that time, to the tune of over $2 billion in funding.

                                        National Funding currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2013. Additionally, the company has an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot.

                                        National Funding Review: Pros

                                        There are a few reasons why borrowing or leasing through National Funding might be the right move for your business.

                                        You Don’t Need Perfect Credit

                                        Getting a small business loan or funding your business’ equipment needs can be challenging. If your business is newer, you’ll struggle to get approved for a number of lending products due to your limited history and proof of income.

                                        Some lenders may want to rely on your personal credit history for your business’ needs. When you’re talking about borrowing tens of thousands of dollars, however, your personal credit score might not be enough to get approved through most banks.

                                        With National Funding, you don’t need perfect credit to qualify for business loans, equipment financing, or leasing options. The company approves up to 60% of applications and has lower underwriting requirements than traditional business lenders, bettering your odds of approval.

                                        24-Hour Funding Available

                                        In some cases, you may be able to get your loan request approved and money disbursed as soon as the next business day. This 24-hour funding will depend on the underwriting process, your individual paperwork, and also the processing time required by your receiving bank.

                                        Early Payoff Discount

                                        While there are no discounts available for customers leasing equipment, you can enjoy a significant discount for paying off your Equipment Finance or Working Capital contract with National Funding.

                                        Equipment Finance customers will receive a 6% discount off the remaining balance if they pay off the total amount still due at any point in the contract. Obviously, the earlier you make this payoff, the more you’ll save.

                                        If you’re a Working Capital customer, you’ll enjoy a 7% discount off of the total remaining if you pay off your balance during the first 100 days of the contract.

                                        You Can Get Equipment for $0 Down

                                        Whether you’re trying to expand your business or have a key piece of machinery break down, National Funding can make it easier to get the equipment you need without a down payment. The company offers up to $150,000 in funding for business equipment, with no down payment required and low payments guaranteed.

                                        Guaranteed Lowest Rates on Leased Equipment

                                        National Funding promises to offer you the lowest monthly payment on your leased equipment, based on 24-60 month lease terms. If you find a lower payment available for the same lease agreement, National Funding will pay you $1,000.

                                        National Funding Review: Cons

                                        There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering a short-term small business loan or equipment financing through National Funding.

                                        You Can’t Rate-Shop Without Formally Applying

                                        Unlike many lenders’ online platforms, you aren’t able to browse rate ranges and options with National Funding. In order to get an idea of what you’ll be paying for your small business loans or equipment financing/leasing contract, you’ll need to submit an application.

                                        National Funding does allow you to get pre-approved without any impact on your credit score. However, you cannot rate-shop without submitting your information and waiting for a loan specialist to contact you (within 24 hours).

                                        Borrowers With Good Credit Can Find Lower Rates Elsewhere

                                        National Funding is a good option for owners of newer small businesses or those with less-than-ideal credit scores. This lender opens the door to funding for many who may be denied traditional bank loans.

                                        However, if your business has a lengthy history and/or you have a great credit score, you’ll probably be better off borrowing from a traditional lender. They will likely charge significantly lower rates on your loan.

                                        It Uses Factor Rates on Loans, not APR

                                        National Funding charges factor rates on the initial loan total and applies them at the beginning of the loan term. This is different from a compounded interest rate, which will decrease over time, and means that an early payoff won’t necessarily save you money.

                                        Origination Fees Can Be High

                                        At National Funding, you can expect to pay around 2% of your loan total in origination fees. While this is still within the average range, it’s not the lowest fee to be found.

                                        Although origination fees are pretty commonplace in the world of small business loans, there are a few lenders who don’t charge them. Of those who do, they typically start at 1% or so.

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        If you own a small business that has been around for only a short time, have less-than-perfect credit, or need to borrow money fast, National Funding might be the right choice for you. Its short-term loans and equipment financing options are aimed at small business borrowers who may not otherwise get approved for traditional banks’ business loans, or who need capital quickly.

                                        If you qualify with National Funding — and about 60% of applicants do — you can borrow up to $500,000 for your business.

                                        Need equipment instead? You’re able to finance up to $150,000 worth, and the process is just as quick. No matter what you need, most answers are given within 24 hours.

                                        National Funding isn’t the cheapest small business loan option around. It’s important to keep that in mind. Interest is also calculated on rate factors, which means that even an early payoff won’t spare you from finance charges.

                                        However, if you’re unable to get approved for other small business loan products, this lender might still be the right choice for you.

                                        To learn more about the company, its loan products, or to get a no-impact pre-approval, visit National Funding’s website.

                                        29 Best Online Business Ideas for 2023 That You Can Do From Home Thu, 02 Jan 2020 05:54:18 +0000 Online business ideas, especially home-based ones that you can start on the side, are a faraway dream for most people.

                                        I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning, turn on their computer, and make six figures without even leaving the house?

                                        Who wouldn’t want to escape the 8-to-5 rat race, complete with endless traffic, demanding bosses, and annoying coworkers?

                                        29 Best Online Business Ideas

                                        Well, believe it or not, every year it gets easier and easier for the average person to come up with their own online business ideas and execute them.

                                        The fact of the matter is that the Internet is a freaking miracle, and if you know how to use it to your advantage, you can start an online business form home.

                                        Here are 29 of the best online business ideas for 2023.

                                        1. Blogging

                                        I list this one first because I have firsthand experience with it.

                                        On July 15, 2017, I bought the domain because I was sick of working my full-time job (complete with a 2-hour one-way commute) and wanted to build an online business that would provide me with more money and a better life.

                                        So I worked on nights and weekends to produce content and promote my blog on social media.

                                        WHOIS Record

                                        By January 2018, my blog was making me over $12,000 a month, on the side, while I still maintained my full-time job that consumed at least 50 and sometimes up to 80 hours a week (not including my commute).

                                        It wasn’t long after that when I put in my notice at work to kiss the corporate world goodbye forever!

                                        Quit Big 4 Public Accounting

                                        Since then, I’ve been able to over double my earnings from my blog now that I work on it full-time, from home.

                                        And the best part is that it doesn’t really feel like work!  I love what I do and the freedom it gives me.

                                        I mean, today’s a weekday, and I took a break from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM to play Battlefield on PS4.

                                        And even though I’m an ambitious person, I don’t feel bad about it at all because I know that my blog is making me money 24/7.

                                        2. Become an Amazon Associate.

                                        Did you know that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently overtook Bill Gates as the richest person in the world?

                                        It’s true. Amazon is taking over the (e-commerce) world!

                                        And guess what? You can partner with Amazon as an Amazon Associate to make money without touching a single product.

                                        You simply promote products that can be purchased on Amazon (which is just about anything imaginable) and receive a commission when somebody buys them.

                                        3. Slogan Writing

                                        Are you kinda witty? Then you may be able to make money just by thinking up slogans in your spare time.

                                        4. Voice Overs

                                        If you don’t mind being recorded, you may be interested in the various voice over jobs from home that have crept up online over the years.

                                        Every day, there are literally thousands of pieces of content produced — from TV commercials, web presentations, radio jingles, and video game characters — that need voice over work.

                                        And the majority of these content creators don’t want to pay a Hollywood actor or actress thousands of dollars, so they’re willing to pay everyday people $100 – $1,500 for lending their voice for 10 – 180 minutes.

                                        I personally know some people who make $150 – $200 for just 10 minutes of work.

                                        Pretty good, yeah? And the opportunities are endless!

                                        5. Photography

                                        Are you good behind the camera? Then you can make a somewhat passive side income licensing your photos online for others to download.

                                        For example, I get all my pictures for this blog from various stock photo sites on the Internet. And every time I download a photo, the photographer who uploaded it gets a royalty!

                                        Licensing one picture that you take and upload now can give you cash flow forever as it’s downloaded again and again!

                                        6. Video Game Testing Business

                                        This is one of those online business ideas where you get paid to do something you enjoy, so it’s not really work at all.

                                        With more and more video games being produced every year, more and more video game companies are looking for everyday gamers to review their products.

                                        7. Real Estate Wholesale Business

                                        Did you know that you can make money in real estate with no money down?

                                        Yes, you can!  Here’s how it works:

                                        1. Find a motivated seller who needs to sell his or her house quickly and doesn’t have time to go through a real estate agent
                                        2. Negotiate with this seller and get his or her house under contract
                                        3. Assign this contract to a cash buyer who wants to flip it or keep it as a rental

                                        Confused?  Don’t be.  There’s a 21-year-old guy who makes over $1,000,000 a year doing this.

                                        8. Social Media Marketing Business

                                        In the business world today, social media is a must.

                                        It’s no longer optional like it was 10 years ago.

                                        Either a business is on social media, or it will fail.  And this reality is scaring older business owners out of their minds.

                                        That’s where Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram-savvy you come in.

                                        9. Drop Shipping

                                        You may have heard of people making six-figure income with drop shipping but aren’t quite sure what exactly drop shipping is.

                                        Let me break down the basic steps of a drop shipping business:

                                        1. Find common household items that interest you.
                                        2. Easily set up an online storefront on Shopify, Clickfunnels, or Amazon (takes less than an hour).
                                        3. Connect your online storefront to a credit card processor and bank account (takes less than 30 minutes).
                                        4. Drive traffic to your online storefront.
                                        5. When people purchase from your online store, you purchase the item from a third party who ships it directly to the customer and collect the difference as profit.

                                        You don’t have to worry about storing inventory or packaging up products at the post office.

                                        You are simply a facilitator for the transaction.

                                        10. English Teaching Business

                                        If you have fluency in English, a Bachelors’ degree, and at least some experience working with children, then you can make $14-$25 per hour teaching English from home.

                                        By the way, don’t let the “experience working with children” requirement scare you away. This could be simply be babysitting or caring for your own children!

                                        11. Start a Consulting Business.

                                        Consulting is incredible because you are simply taking knowledge that you already have and sharing it with others for a profit!

                                        I personally know people who left their W-2 jobs an to launch a consulting business and within 2 years were netting over $100,000.

                                        One of them grew his business to over $1,000,000 within 5 years!

                                        12. Bookkeeping

                                        If you’re somewhat decent with numbers, you can start an at-home bookkeeping business with absolutely no training in accounting or bookkeeping necessary!

                                        What with so many small businesses forming every year, bookkeeping is an extremely in-demand skill set that doesn’t require much training to learn.

                                        In fact, Entrepreneur Magazine recently concluded that bookkeeping is the #1 most profitable small business. Here’s what they had to say:

                                        Finances are a part of everyone’s lives, so here’s an industry that will remain important no matter what. Not only that, but these types of businesses don’t need to purchase or maintain any expensive equipment, thus have few overhead costs. — Entrepreneur Magazine

                                        If this sounds like something that interests you, then you need to check out Bookkeeper Launch — right now they’re offering free three classes to teach you how to start your own bookkeeping business!

                                        13. Write an ebook

                                        Publishing a book is a lot easier these days than it was even 20 years ago.

                                        See, these days we have things like Amazon Kindle where practically anyone can self-publish their own books.

                                        14. Freelance Writing

                                        You can turn your solid writing skills into an extremely lucrative work-from-home career.

                                        With emojis and texting taking over our daily communication, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find people who can communicate effectively in writing. And so they can charge a premium for their skills.

                                        Every day, there are literally millions of pieces of content published online — and every single one of those pieces needed someone to write it.

                                        The opportunities are endless!

                                        15. Virtual Assistant

                                        Virtual assistants help people and businesses do things online.

                                        All you have to do is know how to use the Internet!

                                        Your tasks could be anything from proofreading articles to curating social media content to managing a calendar.

                                        And there are dozens of other ways to make good money working from home as a virtual assistant.

                                        16. Proofreading

                                        Are you a grammar Nazi or a spelling bee champ?

                                        Do you actually know the difference between “they’re”, “their”, and “there”?

                                        Do you find yourself shaking your head at grammatical errors you come across in everyday life?

                                        If so, then you’re a rare and in-demand breed.

                                        17. Life Coach

                                        If you like people and are passionate about helping others, starting a life coaching business from home may be right for you.

                                        Not only is this online business idea extremely profitably, but it can also be extremely satisfying knowing that you are providing others with the information they need to better themselves.

                                        18. Freight Brokerage

                                        Freight brokers help shippers that need to move freight from point A to point B by finding a carrier (trucking company) that will haul the freight for slightly less than the shipper is willing to pay them.

                                        Brokers earn between 10% and 35% profit per shipment they broker, which translates to approximately $100 to $500 per shipment.

                                        Although you may only start off getting 1-2 shipments a day, experienced brokers can do as many as 5-10 shipments a day.

                                        And the best part is you can become a freight broker from home!

                                        19. T-Shirt Design

                                        Did you know that over 2 billion T-shirts are sold every year? It’s true! Think about how many T-shirts you own. Probably at least a dozen or two, right? And consider the fact that every one of those T-shirts had a designer who was paid handsomely for his or her creativity.

                                        And just one or two T-shirts that you design today could provide you with passive income for years to come! And you can get started designing T-shirts from the comfort of your own home.

                                        That’s right. Somebody else can handle for you all the production, inventory, and shipping.

                                        20. Data Entry

                                        Thousands of companies need work-from-home data entry workers.

                                        They don’t want to have to pay for people to come into the office for something they can do at home.

                                        See, when workers come into an office, the company has to rent space for them to use and provide facilities such as air conditioning, restrooms, etc.

                                        They would rather people simply work from their home for data entry tasks, so there are plenty of opportunities for this kind of work.

                                        21. Ticket Broker

                                        Ticket brokering used to be associated with scalping.

                                        It used to be a long, tiring process that involved a lot of driving and having to show up to events hours before they started to sell your tickets.

                                        Well, that’s not the ticket broker game anymore.

                                        Now, you can launch your own ticket broker business from home, getting the best tickets and selling them for major profits on Stubhub and Ebay.

                                        22. Travel Agency

                                        Many people think that travel agents have gone the way of the dinosaur.

                                        Not true!  Now, to be honest, people don’t need a travel agent anymore to book flights.

                                        The majority of flights these days are booked online.

                                        But did you know that 70% of cruises are booked through a travel agent?

                                        Also, those who spend the most on cruises (senior citizens 55+) aren’t very computer savvy and prefer communicating with a human being.

                                        That’s where you come in with your work from home travel agency business!

                                        23. Tutoring

                                        Do you know stuff?  Of course you do.

                                        Then consider sharing your knowledge with others and getting paid for it!

                                        Of course, you can find people to tutor the old-fashioned way by posting in your local classified section, but the Internet has made it extremely easy to create a profitable online tutoring business.

                                        You can set your own hours, taking on as many or as few students as your goals and schedule allow.

                                        24. Translation

                                        If you know a language other than English, you’re a hot commodity, my friend.

                                        In fact, the United States Department of Labor expects that the demand for interpreters and translators to increase by more than 28% by 2024.

                                        25. Dog Treat Baking Business

                                        You can make a killing making dog bones because (1) pet products is a $65 billion industry and (2) your competition will be slim.

                                        As dog owners become more and more picky about their pet’s health, they are becoming less content with the standard, mass-produced dog treats that can be purchased at the grocery store.

                                        That’s where you come in with your unique dog treats and bones!

                                        26. Woodworking

                                        Do you love the smell of freshly-cut wood?

                                        Do you have a little workshed or maybe a garage where you can launch a new business?

                                        Then making money from home as a woodworker may be just the job for you.

                                        See, more and more people every year want “handcrafted” items and aren’t happy with store-bought furniture.

                                        And they are willing to pay top dollar for such pieces!

                                        27. Event Planning

                                        If there’s one thing that people will never stop paying for, it’s getting together with family and friends.

                                        We’ve known for years that paying tens of thousands of dollars for a wedding isn’t the greatest financial move.

                                        But guess what?

                                        We still do it.

                                        Wedding planning, and event planning in general, is a booming business and will be around as long as people like nice gatherings with family and friends.

                                        28. Import/Export

                                        Go pick up five random objects in your house.

                                        I guarantee that at least one of them (if not all of them!) was manufactured overseas.

                                        We don’t think about it in everyday life, but there are people making big money importing products like these from other countries as well as exporting American-made products around the world.

                                        Who knows?  Maybe the next big import/export profiteer will be you!

                                        29. Property Tax Appeal Business

                                        Every property owner in the country is convinced they pay too much in property taxes.

                                        But they feel helpless to do anything about it.

                                        That’s where you come in with your property tax appeal business.

                                        You will be able to help your clients lower their property tax, and they will pay you handsomely for it!

                                        How to Become a Freelance Writer (and Earn $90+ per Hour) Thu, 10 Oct 2019 17:00:50 +0000 If you want to become a freelance writer, now is the perfect time!

                                        The internet has been a godsend for people who want to freelance. You can access potential clients at all hours of the day. You can research, write, submit your work, and send an invoice at 3 a.m. while wearing fluffy pajamas and noshing on chocolate chip cookies if that’s your jam.

                                        Freelance writing can be your “full-time” job or you can make it a side hustle. How much time you spend is up to you.

                                        Let’s investigate how you can become a freelance writer and earn $90-plus per hour from the comfort of your own home.

                                        Look to the Business Sector

                                        The net has also opened a world of opportunities in addition to the traditional forms of writing that have long been part of the business world.

                                        When most people think of professional writing, they think or newspapers, magazines, or books. But businesses need writers too.

                                        If a company has a website or use any type of written content, it could use your services. Huge companies may already have writers on staff, but some still use freelance writers. (I’ve written for LendingTree, Johnson & Johnson, and 1-800-Flowers. From home. In my jammies.)

                                        Here are just a few of the kinds of freelance writing projects you can find online:

                                        • Blog posts
                                        • Email campaigns
                                        • Landing pages
                                        • White papers
                                        • E-books
                                        • Product descriptions
                                        • Grant proposals
                                        • Video scripts
                                        • Social media posts
                                        • Product guides
                                        • FAQs

                                        There are so many different types of written content there’s bound to be one or two things you really enjoy doing.

                                        How to Find Work as a Freelance Writer

                                        If you don’t have experience as a writer, your first task is to get an idea of which markets interest you the most. I spent a lot of time writing about toilet seat covers, air pressure washers, and modular buildings before I decided I love writing about personal finance and real estate. They’re topics I like to learn about anyway, and I enjoy writing in those arenas.

                                        Sit down and make a list of your skills, interests, and hobbies. All of them. Do you enjoy gardening? Astronomy? Cycling? Photography? There are plenty of opportunities in each of those areas to make money as a freelance writer. Having a niche in your head as you start looking for work as a freelance writer will save you time.

                                        Sources of Freelance Writing Work

                                        There’s no one right way to find work as a freelance writer. There are several tactics that work well for many writers. You don’t have to stick to just one; in fact, if you can do a mix of several of these ideas, you’ll increase your chances of finding clients.

                                        Job Platforms

                                        You’ll hear plenty of opinions about platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and Fiverr. There are good reasons for mixed reviews. The primary issue most writers have with these platforms is that they take a percentage of your pay.

                                        Upwork charges a 20% commission for the first $500 you make with a client, 10% until you make $10,000 with a client, and 5% for any earnings after that.

                                        Freelancer charges an introductory fee when you accept a job and 10% on all earnings for each project.

                                        Guru charges a staggered rate depending on your level on the platform. Rates vary between 5 and 9 percent.

                                        Fiverr charges a flat 20% on all projects.

                                        While fees can be difficult to swallow, you’re paying for access to clients who already know they want help and are actively looking for someone to do a job. On each of the platforms (except Fiverr), you’ll be able to view and submit proposals for multiple jobs.

                                        Potential clients list the type of work they’re looking for, their budget, and any other pertinent details. Freelancers submit a cover letter and a bid and wait for the client to get back in touch.

                                        Aside from the cost, a potential concern here is that you’ll be competing with many other freelancers, some offering insanely (insultingly) low rates. You’ll need to learn how to navigate each site and target clients who fit your skill set and budget (which is why having a niche helps).

                                        One Perk

                                        Your payments go through the platform, and many of the platforms offer payment guarantees to help reduce the risk of stolen work.

                                        I’ve made over $65,000 on Upwork. I’ve been on the site for six years, so that’s just over $10,000 per year.

                                        Admittedly, I have a love-hate relationship with the fact that I have to pay so many fees. However, Upwork has helped me find some amazing clients and has helped me grow my business. So I guess it’s mostly love at this point. I usually hit the platform when clients start slowing down and I need to find new work quickly.

                                        Platforms can be a really easy way to get into the freelance business, but you shouldn’t rely solely on a platform for all of your work.

                                        Job Boards

                                        Unlike platforms, job boards don’t charge a commission for work you get. Some may charge a fee for accessing a list of jobs, and others offer free access.

                                        You’ll have to submit a cover letter/resume to most of the postings listed on job boards.

                                        A few popular job boards that have new listings regularly are ProBlogger, BloggingPro, and FlexJobs.

                                        FlexJobs charges a monthly rate, but the platform curates all of its listings so you don’t have to dig through scam postings.

                                        Job boards are worth hitting up once a week or so. I found a regular client on ProBlogger, but I’ve also submitted a ton of applications and heard only crickets. It’s best not to rely on only one platform.

                                        Marketing Yourself

                                        I’ve saved the “scary” one for last. It took me far too long to find my groove in this area, and it’s a game changer.

                                        One of the best ways to make $90-plus an hour as a freelance writer is to find your own clients. You can find your own clients actively and passively.

                                        Active marketing includes:

                                        • Sending out marketing emails (LOIs, or Letters of Inquiry)
                                        • Attending networking events
                                        • Connecting with people on LinkedIn

                                        Passive marketing includes:

                                        • Building a writer website

                                        Active Marketing

                                        Most of the work (at least initially) will be active marketing. That means you’ll need to look for potential clients and contact them. My preferred method of reaching out is via email.

                                        However, before you reach out to clients, there are three things you need to do:

                                        Find the Right Contact

                                        Don’t just send an email to the CEO of a business. Look for the office manager, media rep, or marketing representative. If you’re pitching a smaller business, the office manager may be a helpful resource.

                                        Find the Right Client

                                        If you want to charge professional rates, look for companies that can afford you. Writer’s Digest is a great option if you’re interested in writing for trade publications or magazines. If you’re trying to pitch a business, dig around a bit to see if it could have a budget for freelance work.

                                        Do Your Homework

                                        Don’t send copy-and-pasted cover letters to every single client you pitch. Look at each prospective client’s website. Is there a blog page that hasn’t been updated? Has the company recently won an award? What can you add to your cover letter (LOI) that lets the client know you spent at least a few minutes getting to know its business?

                                        I sent this letter to a client and landed regular work at $100 per post.

                                        Dear XYZ,

                                        I found your name on a list of the best real estate agents in the area. Congratulations! That’s an amazing accomplishment. I was checking out your website and noticed that you have a blog, and that it’s not updated very often. Would you be interested in chatting?


                                        He reached out to me a few days later asking where I’d gotten his name (Angie’s List) and scheduled a phone call to talk about rates.

                                        The key here is to send out multiple pitches each week because some people won’t respond for months and some people won’t respond at all.

                                        The more pitches you send, the better your chances are of getting a response. I aim for 10 to 20 per week when I’m running low on work.

                                        I’m not particularly outgoing, so networking events can be tough. However, they’re a fantastic way to meet new people and get your name out there. (Just don’t go with the sole intention of landing a new gig; these meetings are mostly about building relationships that could land more work.)

                                        Use Google to search, “Networking groups + YOUR HOME TOWN” for a few ideas of groups you can join.

                                        Passive Marketing

                                        Ideally, you’ll include a mix of both active and passive marketing.

                                        Having a writer website is a great way to display your experience and draw people to your business. But if you’re not ready for a writer website (or even if you are), building a LinkedIn profile optimized to attract potential clients is another great way to help people find you.

                                        I’ve landed gigs from clients who’ve looked at my profile (I sent a message back, letting them know I saw they were looking and asking if they needed help), and I’ve received inquiries about my work directly in my inbox.

                                        The Challenges of Being a Freelance Writer

                                        Freelance writing is a fun job. It offers freedom and opportunities to learn about new things while working whenever you want (or can). And it’s also a great way to build up some side income, whether you’re a student or a retiree.

                                        However, there are some challenges you should know about so you’re not surprised when you have to deal with them.

                                        Getting Paid

                                        Lesson number one: Have a contract. It does not have to be long or wordy, but you need to have a formal agreement with your clients.

                                        A contract protects both you and your client. Your client will feel comfortable that they’ll get quality work, and you’re assured you get paid for your work.

                                        Your contract should include (at a minimum):

                                        • Scope of work (project length, or estimates)
                                        • Payment terms (how long they have to pay once you’ve turned in your work)
                                        • The expiration date for the contract

                                        For new clients, ask for a certain percentage upfront and invoice them for the rest once you submit the finished product. When you’ve established a relationship, you can invoice them once the work is turned in or once a month, whatever works for you and your client.

                                        I typically set repayment terms for two to four weeks, depending on the job.

                                        Setting Your Rates

                                        It’s understandable if you feel uncomfortable determining your rates. Money can be such a funny topic to discuss.

                                        However, a little knowledge can go a long way. Writer’s Digest has a handy chart that should give a baseline of what the average writer should charge.

                                        If you’re newer, you may start at the lower end of the price range (or even a little lower) to build up a portfolio. But if you have more experience as a writer or in a career (i.e., writing medical articles when you’ve been a nurse for 20-plus years), you can easily charge higher rates.

                                        PITA clients

                                        At some point, you’re going to have a client who drives you nuts.

                                        They’ll become increasingly demanding about the scope of the project, insist on 10 complete rewrites, send payments late, or call at all hours.

                                        Having a contract can help with some of this.

                                        Sometimes you’re just going to have to put your foot down or decide whether a client is worth the hassle.

                                        I’ve had situations where I asked for more money because the scope of work changed, and I’ve fired clients because they became unreliable or too demanding.

                                        Don’t let the fear of not finding more work keep you trapped in a client relationship that’s unhealthy. That’s the beauty of freelance — there’s always more work to be found.

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        Earning $90 an hour as a freelance writer takes work. I spend plenty of time researching, writing, and editing.

                                        However, I also have a ton of freedom. In fact, becoming a freelance writer is an ideal job for stay-at-home moms. If I’m sick or my kids have a play, I can shift my writing schedule to fit my needs.

                                        Taking on freelance writing projects as a full-time employee is possible too, because you can choose the clients you work with and you can set your own schedule.

                                        You still have deadlines to meet and you should always aim to turn in quality work, but becoming a freelance writer is a way to make money whether you have a little time or a lot of time to spare.

                                        Burger Business: 3 Business Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From In-N-Out Tue, 05 Mar 2019 12:26:46 +0000 I absolutely love In-N-Out.

                                        Of course, maybe I’m geographically biased and have fallen prey to a Southern California herd mentality.

                                        East Coast folks have certainly asked me on more than one occasion what the big deal is about In-N-Out as they go into a monologue about White Castle or Sonic.

                                        But I have had burgers throughout the United States, and still nothing tops an In-N-Out double-double in my mind.

                                        What Makes In-N-Out So Great?

                                        I could easily chalk up In-N-Out’s amazingness to their fresh ingredients, but then again, many restaurants use fresh ingredients — and I don’t love them half as much as I love In-N-Out.

                                        So while I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is that makes In-N-Out great, I just know that it is.

                                        That said, plenty of restaurants make great food.  But not all quality restaurants are as successful as In-N-Out.

                                        Success in foodservice requires business sense just as much as it does fresh ingredients and secret sauces, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

                                        Here are three business lessons that every entrepreneur can learn from In-N-Out Burger’s business strategy.

                                        1. In-N-Out pays their people really well.

                                        We live in an age where people can work a full-time job and not earn enough money to sustain themselves and their family.

                                        This is especially true in the food service industry.

                                        But In-N-Out is a shining light in this muckery!

                                        According to Business Insider, In-N-Out offers retirement, health, and dental benefits to both full- and part-time employees.

                                        And get this — managers there can make upwards of $160,000!

                                        I can’t help but think that a part of their success can be attributed to their higher-than-average wages as it helps them attract and retain quality employees.

                                        2. In-N-Out provides knock-your-socks-off value.

                                        In-N-Out Double DoubleA couple weeks ago, my wife and I paid $18.90 at a major fast food restaurant for our lunch.

                                        We were shocked at the price we paid for the quantity and quality of the food we received.

                                        Frankly, we didn’t feel that we received value in exchange for the money we paid.

                                        This is never the case at In-N-Out; if anything, we feel that we receive far more value than we pay there.

                                        We can typically spend $10 or so at In-N-Out and walk away quite satisfied!

                                        Frankly, any business can learn from this.

                                        You want your customers to walk away from doing business with you convinced that they have been provided incredible value for what they paid you — this way, they can’t help but come back for more!

                                        3. In-N-Out keeps the main thing (burgers) the main thing.

                                        In-N-Out MenuAnother great thing about In-N-Out is that they have focused on the one thing they do — craft delicious burgers — and they do it well.

                                        They don’t have gimmicky limited-time promotional items.  They don’t expand into other cuisine, offering tacos or chow mein or chicken vindaloo.

                                        They’ve focused on one thing for the past 70 years — stacking cheese on top of veggies on top of ground beef on top of bread — and they intend to keep it that way.

                                        In my opinion, all small businesses would do well to take this approach: niche down into one produce or service offering and perfect it.  Otherwise, you’ll spread yourself too thin and the quality of the 101 things you offer will suffer.  See, you want your business to be top-of-mind for one thing.  You need to find your “double-double,” so to speak.

                                        People, Value, and Focus

                                        When it comes down to it, In-N-Out’s business strategy is simple:

                                        You hire the right people and treat them right so that they stay.

                                        You provide incredible value to your customers so they come back time and time again.

                                        You focus on being known for one thing.

                                        This is the recipe for business success.  The next time you visit an In-N-Out — or any restaurant you love — I encourage you to consider what ingredients have contribute to its success, and then think of how you can translate their strategies to your own business.

                                        51 Small Business Ideas for Kids Tue, 26 Feb 2019 09:45:53 +0000 Starting a business is an incredible opportunity for children to not only earn income but also learn valuable life skills.

                                        And when it comes to entrepreneurship, kids these days have far more options than the lemonade stand of old.

                                        As a parent, be sure to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of your child based on their strengths, knowledge, preferences, and even artistic inclinations.

                                        Check It Out: Once your child starts earning money, he or she can start contributing to a Roth IRA.  Here’s how.

                                        1. Candy Business

                                        Anything bought in bulk can be sold for a profit, and reselling merchandise will teach children about price calculation, marketing strategies, and communication skills.

                                        Given that it’s easy to find affordable bulk candy packages, a candy business can be a great opportunity for children to resell their favorite treats to their schoolmates or neighbors.

                                        Peter Koch over at Dollar Sanity actually got his first taste of entrepreneurship from his childhood candy business.

                                        2. Acting

                                        Child actors are sought for commercials, clips, documentaries, movies, and even voiceovers.

                                        If your kid has the talent and the stage presence, you may want to consider the idea.

                                        Television acting can pay really well and you can save the money for an investment in your child’s future.

                                        3. Lemonade Stand

                                        While the lemonade stand has turned into somewhat of a cliché in the world of small business ideas for kids, it’s still a great choice for youngsters.

                                        Good to Know: A little bit of help from an adult will be required in terms of getting permits and developing the right lemonade recipes. Retail skills and customer service play a key role in business development, which is why acquiring such skills in childhood can be great.

                                        4. Illustration Services

                                        Many authors of children’s books are actually looking for illustrations created by kids.

                                        There are also various international contests that drawings can be submitted to.

                                        These contests offer various types of prizes,  from cash to scholarships and even international travel opportunities.

                                        Winning one of these contests could open doors to more lucrative opportunities for your child.

                                        5. Mowing Lawns

                                        As far as business ideas for kids go, this is another classic. Mowing neighborhood lawns is a great choice for the summer.

                                        Help your child determine what the charge is going to be and whether they’d be offering additional services — gardening, leaf raking, an outdoor cleanup, etc.

                                        6. Pet Care

                                        Pet sitting, dog walking, and other jobs involving animals are both fantastic business ideas for kids.

                                        Taking care of another living being can teach children a lot about responsibility.

                                        As with other service businesses on this list, work with your young one to determine and price out their menu of services.

                                        Some of the tasks that kids could handle include pet sitting, walking, cleanup after pets, pet bathing and grooming, and even pet training (kids who have their own pets will already know how to do that).

                                        Who knows?  Your child’s love for serving animals could result in a lifelong career interest.

                                        7. Selling Used Books

                                        Does your household have a bit too many children books?

                                        Chances are, you and your children will only care about keeping the ones that have sentimental value with the majority ending up donated at some point.

                                        So rather than give these books to Goodwill or the Salvation Army for them to sell at 100% profit margins, why not encourage your children to make money selling them?

                                        Of course, as your kids grow older, they can expand their enterprise used textbooks or study guides.  The demand for these is very high because more and more students are opting to purchase textbooks used rather than buying them now.

                                        8. Blogging

                                        Kids that like to write and create multimedia can be particularly successful in the online realm.

                                        The topic should be something your child is interested in — but also something many other people are interested in as well.

                                        Definitely encourage your child’s zanier creative outlets, but be realistic with them when it comes to starting a business and doing a market analysis.

                                        Placing ads on a blog is a good choice for income generation because of the simplicity and the reward children will grow in the end.

                                        As they grow older and their audience expands, alternative monetization possibilities such as affiliate marketing can be sought.

                                        9. Babysitting

                                        The best business ideas for kids to make money will solve a problem that adults may have, and all parents of young children need babysitting every now and then.

                                        Of course, a babysitter will be responsible for taking care of other little humans, so it’s probably best to carefully evaluate your child’s maturity before signing off on their next babysitting gig.

                                        10. Doing Chores

                                        There could be a set fee being paid to youngsters for handling specific tasks — laundry, sorting clothes, doing backyard work, cooking a family meal, etc.

                                        Keep in mind you should not pay kids for responsibilities like maintaining their room clean. If you do, you’ll teach them that they shouldn’t handle such tasks unless a payment is provided.

                                        11. Tutoring

                                        Children who excel academically in one subject or another could provide tutoring services to their classmates.

                                        As already mentioned, solid small business ideas for kids are based on their strengths and knowledge.

                                        12. Doing Online Surveys

                                        Some prominent online survey websites are available to individuals aged 13 and up.

                                        Teens can earn some extra cash by completing paid surveys.

                                        Note that the payouts are relatively low but the surveys take only minutes to complete. In time, the amount can easily add up.

                                        Survey Junkie is a survey site that allows teengers to sign up.

                                        13. Shoveling Snow

                                        While gardening is a suitable kid’s business idea for the summer, shoveling snow is a great alternative for the winter. You can help your kids promote their services by designing flyers together and distributing those in the neighborhood. Soon, neighbors will learn about the availability of such assistance and the phone calls will start coming in.

                                        14. Newspaper Delivery

                                        While we love innovative entrepreneurial ideas, we also enjoy the classics in terms of business ideas for kids. Newspaper delivery is definitely a childhood occupation and one of the first job-related experiences that many adults have had.

                                        Good to Know: Doing the job is great because it will necessitate approximately 30 minutes to one hour of involvement per day.

                                        Advantage: Holding such a job at a young age teaches responsibility, discipline, and effective time management. Collecting fees door to door in the end of the month is the sweetest part of the entire experience.

                                        15. Making Basic Jewelry

                                        Most kids collect seashells, snail shells, pebbles or minerals. These collections can easily be monetized. Crafty children can start making their own jewelry that they’ll get to sell to other kids or to neighbors. Eventually, a website can be created for the purpose of selling jewelry online and reaching a larger audience.

                                        16. House Sitting

                                        Because of the responsibility involved, this business idea for kids is best for teenagers. It may be wise to start with the houses of family members and close friends. House sitting is relatively easy but some discipline will be required to handle all tasks.

                                        Good to Know: A few of the issues teens will have to deal with include basic cleanup, watering plants, taking care of the garden, bringing in mail, and eventually – taking care of pets.

                                        17. Social Media Management

                                        As far as small business ideas for kids go, this is a great choice for tech-savvy teenagers. Social media management is natural for those who have grown up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There could be various local businesses interested in reaching a more youthful audience. As a result, such companies wouldn’t mind partnering up with a teenage digital wizard.

                                        Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to learn a bit more about Facebook monetization and digital marketing before doing job pitches.

                                        18. Helping Seniors

                                        Charging a small amount to help seniors in the neighborhood is another great idea for youngsters. Older people may need assistance with grocery shopping, meal prep, small everyday chores, walking around, and cleaning their house.

                                        Good to Know: Some of them could even be looking for someone to read them or take them out for a walk. The job is great because it teaches children to care for others, build lasting relationships, and anticipate the needs of those who may experience certain kinds of limitations.

                                        19. Pool Cleaning

                                        A sub-division of backyard maintenance, pool cleaning is a perfect summer job for kids.

                                        20. Video Creation

                                        Video clips can easily be monetized. We’ve already talked about making money watching videos and this is another great opportunity. Children who can work on animated clips, shorts documentaries, funny clips or how-to guides can easily monetize those.

                                        Pro Tip: YouTube video creators can earn a lot and the creation of a channel can eventually turn into a nice passive income generation option.

                                        21. T-Shirt Design

                                        Artistic children can design clothing items and sell those for cash.

                                        You can learn more about how to make money selling t-shirts online here.

                                        22. Podcasting

                                        As far as viable digital business ideas for kids go, podcasting ranks among the greatest opportunities. There are a few technical aspects an adult may need to handle. In fact, podcasting can quickly turn into a fun activity for the entire family that comes with the added bonus of income generation.

                                        23. Balloon Artist

                                        Balloon artists are often invited to events, birthdays and special family occasions. Kids who are skilled may print out flyers, distribute those in the neighborhood, and get invited as entertainers to neighborhood events.

                                        24. Magician

                                        Continuing from the previous idea, those who are skilled illusionists can also pursue an entertainment job in the local neighborhood.

                                        25. Gift Wrapping Service Provider

                                        This option ranks among the best seasonal small business ideas for kids. The holidays result in added stress for many families.

                                        Good to Know: Hiring a little helper to handle a tedious aspect of Christmas preparation will free up a lot of time for other activities. Hence, the demand for gift wrapping service operators is going to be high during December.

                                        We have a range of additional Christmas income generation ideas you can explore here.

                                        26. Musician

                                        A continuation of the entertainment theme, children who are musically-inclined can offer services at local celebrations and earn money.

                                        27. Baked Goods Maker

                                        Many kids exhibit exceptional culinary talents. Those who like to bake have a great business concept to explore. Baked goods can be sold locally or they could be sold online.

                                        Pro Tip: The key here is to shop smart and help your children develop a brand (for example, through colorful packaging) that stands out.

                                        28. Greeting Card Maker

                                        Drawing talent can be monetized in several ways. Apart from selling their illustrations, children can start their own line of greeting cards.

                                        Good to Know: Great business ideas for kids can focus on service provision or product development (or both). Greeting cards can be sold within the local community or you can explore online platforms for the purpose.

                                        29. Gift Basket Creator and Deliverer

                                        Does your child have a special gift basket idea? Help them bring the concept to fruition. Making gift baskets and providing delivery services can result in some nice income generation at an early age.

                                        Here are a few additional great hobby ideas that can generate money.

                                        30. Recyclable Material Collection

                                        Collecting recyclable materials teaches children about being environmentally-responsible and about earning an income at the same time. The collection of recyclable materials in the neighborhood can be monetized when these are taken to a recycling center.

                                        Good to Know: Not only is this a great business idea for kids, it also increases activity levels and can turn into a family bonding experience.

                                        31. Selling Items on eBay

                                        Holding on to items that are no longer needed can result in tons of clutter and mess. Ask your kids to sort through their belonging and identify the ones they no longer want. Knowing these items can earn them money will act as an additional source of motivation.

                                        Good to Know: Selling on eBay will teach children entrepreneurial skills, marketing, and effective communication with potential customers.

                                        32. Car Washing

                                        The range of neighborhood service business ideas for kids is immense. Car washing in the summer is a quick and easy activity. Help your kids determine how much they’re going to charge and what the best marketing method for their services is.

                                        33. Computer and Gadget Repair

                                        Computer repair is a job idea for teens but some younger kids are actual tech geniuses who can complete the task successfully. Many adults struggle with computers, gadgets, and wearable tech that has stopped working.

                                        Pro Tip: If your child has sufficient hardware knowledge, a successful repair business can be set up at home.

                                        34. Party Decoration and Planning Assistance

                                        Who doesn’t love working on party planning? Often, families run out of time when planning birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

                                        Good to Know: Children can help with venue decoration, table set up, music selection and even greeting arriving guests while adults handle more strategic aspects of the process.

                                        35. House Painting

                                        There’s no need for additional explanation, as far as this small business idea for kids, is there?

                                        36. Video Game Live Streaming

                                        Yes, you can get paid to play video games. Kids who love the video game experience could do live streams and upload those to YouTube or other platforms.

                                        Pro Tip: Entertaining and strategic video gaming is a popular genre. Many will be interested in watching such videos and advertising monetization opportunities will be easy to pursue.

                                        One thing to keep in mind is that gaming can quickly become addictive. Come up with a daily schedule that results in more balanced everyday activities that include sports and sufficient outdoor time.

                                        37. A Local Food Growing Business

                                        Starting a vegetable garden in your backyard will teach children a lot about food production. On top of that, the produce can be sold locally.

                                        Pro Tip: It doesn’t take a lot to start a garden – you’ll need some seeds and fertilizer. If you’re looking for minimum investment small business ideas for kids that can grow quickly, this one would be a great choice.

                                        38. Advertising Space Seller

                                        Is your child known for riding their bike around town? The two of you can easily turn a favorite activity in a viable business concept. Offer mobile advertising space for sale to local companies and service providers. Depending on your approach and strategy, you can quickly win a sufficient number of loyal customers.

                                        39. Organizing Puppet Shows

                                        A kid can put on a puppet show for the neighbors and earn money. Performance art passion is relatively easy to monetize, especially if your child is talented. Entertainment opportunities will always attract crowds, especially when they’re properly advertised.

                                        40. Music Lessons

                                        Apart from playing music at events, talented children can also start a music lessons business. If you do a bit of online search, you’ll come across dozens of such stories. Some children make 20 dollars per hour and even more teaching others to play the piano, guitar, violin, and various other instruments.

                                        41. Writing Books

                                        Numerous kids become published authors at a tender age. Children benefit from their limitless imagination and the fact that they haven’t become accustomed to social conventions. Encourage your child to continue writing and seek expert opinion on the quality of the work.

                                        Good to Know: Self-publishing eBooks ranks among the best online business ideas and you can easily turn your child’s talent into a family venture.

                                        42. Device Set Up

                                        What happens when the nice senior lady living next door gets a new computer? She’ll probably ask for set up and installation assistance. Many children are naturally talented in the technical realm. Such children can start a device set up business.

                                        Good to Know: Depending on the size of the local community and the age of the residents, the idea can expand into a solid business quickly.

                                        43. A Photography Business

                                        Photo creation for money ranks among the best small business ideas for kids. The easiest way to get started is to sell licensed photographs via stock image portals. A larger portfolio of images will quickly turn into a great passive income generation option.

                                        44. Garage Sales

                                        How many items do you have collecting dust around the house? Put your child in charge of organizing a garage sale. Garage sales provide business ideas for kids to make money and they also result in a much more pleasant living environment.

                                        45. A Cleaning Business

                                        This small business idea for kids is similar to doing chores but it can be turned into a niche venture.

                                        Obtain environment-friendly cleaning supplies and advertise your green cleaning company in the neighborhood.

                                        46. Moving Assistant

                                        Helping someone pack their belongings and move can be expanded into a childhood business. Moving can be both stressful and costly. This is why many families seek affordable moving solutions. The key to growing this business idea is intense neighborhood networking.

                                        47. Post-Construction Cleanup

                                        On a similar note, home renovations and construction leave a massive mess behind. Few people have the time and the desire to deal with the chaos. Thus, a wonderful kid business niche emerges.

                                        48. Selling Homemade Jam

                                        This is a continuation of the baked goods opportunity and it works in the exact same way.

                                        49. A Knitting Business

                                        Handmade accessories and clothes like scarves, hats, gloves, jumpers, and cardigans are in high demand.

                                        Kids who love knitting are at an advantage – they are already excelling in the creation of items that can be sold.

                                        Knitted items and clothes can easily be sold online for cash.

                                        50. Handcrafted Wedding Invitation Business

                                        Young artists and those who enjoy calligraphy can start a budget-friendly wedding invitation business that financially-pressed couples will favor over other solutions.

                                        51. Non-Profit Work

                                        Sometimes, business ideas for kids don’t have to be focused on monetization. Non-profit work teaches children about values and idealism.

                                        Good to Know: If there’s a cause your child is passionate about, you should encourage volunteer work.

                                        Such type of work is beneficial in several ways – it results in a high level of satisfaction, it looks good on a resume, and it can make a range of educational opportunities available in the future.

                                        A Few Final Essentials to Keep in Mind

                                        Small business ideas for kids can be monetized easily, as long as you’re pursuing the right concept.

                                        While considering the best activity to turn into a business is essential, you’ll have to keep a few practical essentials in mind.

                                        The Internal Revenue Service requires all tax payers to file a tax return and pay their taxes, regardless of age.

                                        Here’s some more information on filing tax returns for minor children.

                                        • If you ignore this essential because the sum is a relatively small one, you may face stiff penalties in the future.
                                        • It’s also a good idea to calculate the business starting expenses in advance.
                                        • You may have to invest in some equipment, a website, and advertising materials like flyers.
                                        • Show your child how budgeting works to teach them financial responsibility at an early age.

                                        Based on this information, kids will later on get to determine just how profitable their business is.

                                        Finally, don’t forget to have fun.

                                        Bonus Tip: Small business ideas for kids should be more focused on the acquisition of skills and the pursuing of a passion than on money. Turn the project into an enjoyable activity for the entire family – amazing bonding opportunities will arise out of business concept development.