Category Archives: Tips on Starting a New Business

Renting a Small Office

Small Offices for Rent Renting an office space might seem like a luxury for a freelancer or an entrepreneur. But some freelancers say that renting a separate space is not only affordable, but also helps them do their job better — and, in the process, make more money. Because of the peace and tranquility you will have, it will allow you to focus more on your job and get more things done.

Not everyone gets distracted by every little thing, so distractions may not be an issue. In the event of annoying relatives, a rented office space might be something you should consider. Remember no two businesses are alike, just like no two owners are alike.

Consider taking your business to the next level. What do you have to lose? At Van Nuys Offices we are very flexible with our contracts because we know how hard it is at the beginning when you start your business. Therefore if you rent a small space from Van Nuys Offices and three months down the line you feel your business didn’t quite pick up. No Problem! We allow you to move out or move into a smaller space. Give us a call today so we can help you get into that office your business really needs. Or send us a message today!

Marketing your New Business

So where do you start if you just opened your business and are looking for new customers? Learning to generate new sales leads is an essential skill for an entrepreneur. Whether you’re in the service industry or the product business, you need to sell, sell and sell some more.

Opening up a new business with a fresh start with no issues other than figuring out what and how to do it under today’s conditions may be an easier challenge than you think. Before you can find new customers and increase sales, you need to understand who your customer is, what value proposition you offer to customers, and what your competition is currently offering in the market. “Attracting more customers is really about listening to their needs, not being a solution looking for a problem”.

STEP 1
Your customers are your best source. Listen to their suggestions or their needs. Solicit their opinions to find out how you can improve your business. Trust me all customers always have something to say on how to improve your line of products.
STEP 2
Networking with other businesses through social media can do wonders for increasing sales, but the importance of this is often overlooked by business owners. Perhaps it is due to lack of time, knowledge or confidence, but owners need to be bold and brave when stepping out of the box. Not only is networking free advertisement, but it is also a great learning tool.
STEP 3
If your business starts picking up and you’re short staff. Don’t be afraid taking the risk of hiring another person. What’s the worst that can happen. Or if more equipment is needed to fulfill all demands then go out and look at your options. You don’t always have to buy office equipment, there’s places that rent equipment.
STEP 4
Your business finally picked up and the office you’re in is now too small. Don’t hesitate to call Van Nuys Offices they will be more than happy to assist you with an office to accommodate yours and your customers needs.

Leasing Commercial Office Space

Leasing commercial office space is one of the largest expenses you acquire when you are opening a new business or you’re expanding your business. So it is important to do your homework.
Van Nuys OfficesBasically, a lease is much like a partnership agreement in that it sets out the restrictions of a business relationship. When everything goes as planned, most any lease will serve the parties well but the true test occurs when there are obstacles in the partnership. If the lease has not been carefully drafted, an obstacle can become a major problem for either of the parties. Tenants often don’t read the entire “Standard Form Lease” or sometimes there is something they done understand what it means and if not appropriately brought to the landlords attention before the lease is signed , may not serve their interests when issues arise. On the other hand, a sophisticated tenant will often request changes to the lease that, if not fully understood, can cause unforeseen difficulties for the landlord as well.

Here are a few tips to help you when signing a commercial lease:

  1. First off, You always want to read the lease to its entirety, make sure you understand each term, word, clause or anything written. If you do not understand a term in the lease ask for clarification from a lawyer or knowledgeable disinterested party. Relying on the landlord or a listing agent to explain their lease is not a great idea because they could mislead you intentionally, or may not understand the lease themselves.
  2. How is your monthly rent calculated? The most basic equation for calculating a lease payment takes the number of square feet times the cost per square foot, then amortizes that over a 12 month span. It’s important that you understand exactly what you are paying for and what expenses the landlord will cover. Are you responsible for any costs other than the rent? Are you responsible for paying for your own utilities and garbage pickup? It’s good to understand that ahead of time.
  3. If there is any repairs that need to be done before you can move in, have the landlord do repairs before you sign a lease. If any work is to be done after you take occupancy be sure this is detailed in the lease including work completion times. You do not want to have your business shut down for weeks at a time because of ongoing work. Remember that any changes or improvements you make on a commercial property, unless you own that property, becomes an improvement for the land owner. This is an area to surely negotiate with the landlord.
  4. The lease terms. Consider the growth that you expect to see in your company in the coming years. A short-term lease may be ideal if the growth is hard to forecast, but the downside to short-term leases is that lease rates tend to change. Sometimes long-term lease agreements have the option of expansion so that growth can be accommodated. Long-term leases are ideal when real estate rental prices are low and are forecasted to rise. Short-term leases tend to lead to more frequent moving, which presents costs of time and money.

In order to play it safe, budget a six-month timeline from day one until to move-in. This will allow your company enough time to plan, find space, negotiate the deal, install IT infrastructure, make minor cosmetic alterations and move in.
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How do you start the idea process? “MY OWN BUSINESS”

Many people believe starting a business is a mysterious process. They know they want to start a business, but they don’t know the first steps to take. . . . . .
Understand that business startup isn’t rocket science. It isn’t easy to begin a business, but it’s not as complicated or as scary as many people think, either. It’s a step-by-step, common-sense procedure.

First step: Figure out what you want to do. Once you have the idea, talk to people to find out what they think. Ask “Would you buy and/or use this, and how much would you pay?” Determining what you want to do is only the first step. You’ve still got a lot of homework to do, a lot of research in front of you. One of the most common warnings you’ll hear is about the risk. Everyone will tell you it’s risky to start your own business. Sure, starting a business is risky, but what in life isn’t?

One of the best ways to determine whether your idea will succeed in your community is to talk to people you know. If it’s a business idea, talk to co-workers and colleagues. Run personal ideas by your family or neighbors. Don’t be afraid of people stealing your idea. Just discuss the general concept; you don’t need to spill all the details.

Hopefully by now, the process of determining what business is right for you has at least been somewhat demystified. Understand that many people around you won’t encourage you (some will even discourage you) to pursue your dream. Some will tell you they have your best interests at heart; they just want you to see the reality of the situation. Some will envy your courage; others will resent you for having the guts to actually do something. You can’t allow these kinds of people to talk you out of starting your business or influence you to stop your journey before it even begins.

What will you lose if things don’t work out? Don’t risk what you can’t afford. Don’t risk your home, your family or your health. Ask yourself “If this doesn’t work, will I be worse off than I am now?” If all you have to lose is some time, energy and money, then the risk is likely worth it. Van Nuys Offices

Moving Your Home Business to an Office

The decision to relocate has to be made with specific regard to the future of the business. It needs precise planning and research, the establishment needs to be faultless and the owner needs to be sure that relocating is the answer for his/her business future. Once you have made the decision to move your home business to an office, you have some planning to do.

The advantages of moving out of your home office comes down to increased professionalism, more space to work and unlimited growth potential. And less much less distraction. Renting a small office at a good price can be very meaningful.

The first decision you make when you have already decided to rent an office, should be your desired location. It’s usually a good idea to start looking at offices near your house to avoid a long commute. Of course, while this is the ideal option, it may not work out perfectly when you consider other details that greatly affect your business. You need to make sure the new location reaches your target audience, so do some research of the surrounding area to find out who lives near the building you are considering. Try giving Van Nuys Offices a call, they have small offices for short terms and for only $195 a month.

Second thing you should consider highly is making sure that all your office furniture, including desks, filing cabinets, and bookshelves, will fit into the new office space. Make sure you leave room for expansion, especially if you plan to hire a few employees soon. Also, consider where customers will sit when they come into the office. Draw a layout, measure your furniture and move your furniture around so that you can get an idea of how much square footage you will need.

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Last thing after you have found your perfect office, you signed a lease, and now you’re ready to start running your business from the office. DON’T FORGET to update your address on all your licenses, bank account, vendor accounts, post office, and all your stationary. If you regularly get inventory shipments, you need to let the distributor know your company’s new address ahead of time. This can prevent you from having to move merchandise shortly after it is dropped off at your house, so be sure to update your business address. You will have to do the same for your mail and any marketing materials that feature your current address.

Get Approved for a Small Business Loan

Launching a business requires capital. Even when a business is already up and running cash flow is important to keep things running smoothly and to allow expansion. Many businesses find there are enormous benefits from getting a small business loan.

There are a variety of financing programs that give emerging businesses the boost they need to expand and grow into a “bankable” enterprise that generates new jobs and strengthens the economy. Normally you have to have two to three years of solid financials before a money lender like a bank will even consider lending you money. Often you need to have a strong personal credit record to be eligible for a decent business loan from start-up.

There are other lenders that offer business loans specifically for start-ups so the process is easier now than it was a decade ago.

Such lenders can furnish you with a loan of the capital you require in order to get your business start-up running or to take your existing business to the next level. Getting approved for a business loan from a bank with a credit score of 650 or less can be extremely difficult. Before a lender approves your small business loan application, they will want to be certain that your business is capable of repaying the loan. This is why it’s so difficult for startups with unproven operating histories to obtain loans. In order for you to stand a chance in getting approved there are some steps you will need to take.

1. Check Your Credit History
It’s a good idea for business owners to check their credit histories before trying to get a loan. Correcting erroneous data or resolving any inconsistencies before applying for a loan will increase a business’s chances of getting one.

2. Research Potential Lending Institutions

Before you start applying for loans, you should gather some basic documentation about you and your business – such as a demonstrably good income record. The most important measure banks use in determining whether to loan money is the company’s ability to repay. Always try to approach a bank that is familiar with your industry and target market.

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3. Create a Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement is a familiar financial statement to the banker and provides the banker with an understanding for the current assets and liabilities of the company. Banks prefer more assets than liabilities. In order to create the projected cash flow statements, you will need a detailed business plan. This is also something a bank will want to see before they approve your loan. The plan should be part of your loan application. You should focus on the details within the plan that explain how you will use the loan proceeds.

4. Invest in the Business
Invest your own funds. Lenders like to see personal investment. It is a sign of commitment. Wait until you can afford to invest your own funds before requesting the help of a lender. In general, a lender will help you to subsidize your total funding need, but will be reluctant to provide you with the entire amount.

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Steps to Start Your Small Business

The desire to own a small business hasn’t faded away, even in today’s economy. About 600,000 businesses are formed every year; roughly half will fail within their first five years. But that reality hasn’t prevented new entrepreneurs from following their dreams. With can-do attitudes, hordes of potential business owners want to work for themselves, according to USA Today.

Starting your own business is not just about having a dream. There are real steps to ensure your business a successful start. However, be aware that a high percentage of new businesses fail in their first 3 years of operation due to poor planning and management.

Step 1: Get InspiredIf you are looking for a new small business opportunity, you are in the right place. Learn how to think like an entrepreneur, take advantage of ideas and opportunity, and explore whether owning your own business is for you. Let your daily life lead the way to inspiration. Problems you have or see are a tremendous source for inspiration and innovation. We live in a world where many services can be instantly contracted or automated, and most products can be fabricated on demand. If you think it, you can create it. So, do it!

Step 2: Research Your Idea

In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants. There are a number of ways you can identify this need, including research, focus groups, and even trial and error.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is important for three reasons. First, it serves as an operational road map; second, it lists goals to aim for; and third, it is a requirement of lenders if you should approach them for start-up capital. The SBA has an online tutorial to help you write a business plan. Small-business advisors like the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) can also provide assistance.

Step 4: Do you have enough money to start a small business?

It depends on your type of business and how quickly you plan to expand. You should sit down and write out how much your expected expenses will be for at least the next 24 months and how much you project to bring in as far as income on a monthly basis. There are several companies that can help you get started with funding your business.

Step 5: Start-up Expenses

Every business requires start-up expenses, which may be low or high depending on the business. For instance, the start-up expenses for a home-based business may require less capital than the expenses for the purchase or lease of a commercial structure. In general, most start-up expenses include utilities, office space, communication systems and office equipment. In addition, some businesses require licenses, permits and business insurance.

Step 6: Licenses and Permits

Federal or state licenses and permits are required to legally operate some businesses. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) provides information regarding the prerequisite government licenses and permits for businesses. Other sources for local business regulation information can be found at the state and local level. Additionally, local government offices offer information on zoning laws and other restrictions for certain businesses and their locations. Van Nuys Offices

Money to Start a Small Business

Finding money to start a small business takes a lot of work. To start with you will need a good business plan and several leads for small business loans and grants. There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups.

Start your capital search with a good business plan that shows investors and lenders your company’s potential. Follow that up with a thorough knowledge of the resources available and a determination to make your business a reality, and you should be on your way to uncovering a source that fits your new business’s cash needs.

There are several sources to consider when looking for financing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only place you can find the money you need is through the bank or finance company. Explore all of your options before making a decision.

The first place to look for financing is right at home and personal savings and assets are the easiest source of capital. If you have money set aside, you use it instead of borrowing or rounding up investors.

Next, turn to members of your family or close friends who have faith in you and want to see you succeed. Borrowing from a friend or relative is generally the most readily available source, especially when the capital requirement is smaller. Relatives and people you know need fewer assurances and are more open to your ideas than professional investors.

Angels are private investors interested in making more on their capital than they can make through traditional markets such as mutual funds or publicly traded stocks. These “angels” can be your accountant, attorney, doctors or other individuals who seek out new businesses to invest in return for equity ownership. Usually providing additional capital in the range of $25,000 to $500,000, expect angel investors to demand high returns for their investments.

Either way, there are risks and gains; what you take will depend on your tolerance for risk and your personal objectives. Van Nuys Offices

Marketing your New Business at Low Cost

Are you looking for ways to market your new small business? Looking for ways to let people know you have open a new business. Whether it’s with established sites such as Google and Facebook, or newer outlets like Pinterest, there are plenty of options available to promote your site.

Create a marketing strategy. Lay out goals for how many consumers you want to reach, define your key audiences and decide how you will time each phase of the promotion. It’s also wise to use a variety of methods.

One of the many great things about marketing a small business is that there are plenty of options to fit any size budget. You can begin by obtaining a domain name for your new brand. On Godaddy.com. you can buy domains for less than $10. If your domain name is not available as a.com, come up with another name. Now that you have your domain. Develop a website using your domain name. This will help people find out information about you and your products / services if they do a search online.
Begin Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get ever higher rankings for your website. It does you little good to have a website if no one can find it. Hire an economical SEO firm or do it yourself. Google’s Guide to SEO is free, online, and a great starter.

Use social media including a blog, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter several times a week. If possible use your own name, not your business name, because social media are personal. Constantly reach out to potential customers or referral sources by following them or asking them to connect.

Tell your family, friends and other associates about your new business and ask them to spread the word to drum up sales. Word of mouth referrals are still the No. 1 marketing medium in the world, and for good reason — people trust their friends’ recommendations.

There are many other ways to market your business and generate new business leads. However, the marketing strategies I mention in this article are effective low- or no-cost options. Use them consistently and watch your sales grow.

Starting a new business is a bold and exciting process! It takes a lot of courage to jump out on one’s own. Sometimes you’re forced by layoff and difficulty finding another job. Or maybe you just decided to make the jump and make your dream come true.  Van Nuys Offices

Setting up Your New Office on a Budget

One of the most exciting part of starting up a small business is when it’s time to set up office space at your new business location. You have to purchase furniture, equipment, computers, business machines, supplies (like paper and paper clips), shipping materials, and décor for your office. And we all know that this may be a huge expense. There are ways to keep the expense down if you create a budget and plan your purchases accordingly. Van Nuys Offices.

There are so many second hand stores where you can find great buys on office furniture that are used but look like new. Choose a theme for your office and keep it in line with the type of work you will be conducting. Also check the local newspaper for any businesses that may be closing up as they will be selling off their furniture as well. There is no need to purchase new office furniture during your startup phase. For example, place the printer on top of a file cabinet rather than buying a separate table for it. Van Nuys Offices.

Besides the design of your office and furniture, you also have to start listing the various types of machines and equipment that you need in order to run your business efficiently. For instance, instead of purchasing a fax machine (which range from $100 to $200), keeping a supply of paper for it (between $3 – $5 per ream regularly), and the cost of an extra phone line (between $10-$40 per month), you can just get an online fax program.. You can send and receive faxes for your business and only print the faxes you need, for just $10 per month. Van Nuys Offices.

Now that you have the furniture & equipment you need for your office, it is time to supply it. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money if you have the storage space to keep the excess supplies. I recommend buying the generic brand for these basic office supplies. You will buy them at a lower cost and save a substantial amount of money. Generic products are a great business supply, and they are relatively cheap and inexpensive office products. You will hardly know the difference between them. Van Nuys Offices