Friday, January 31, 2014

Small Business Loans (Comments and Contributions)

Dallas Pearce, owner of the Isochronic Beats website and a reader of this blog, has provided me with some additional information and insights on small business funding I would like to share with my readers.

For those of you interested in learning more about the use of Isochronic Beats for brainwave entrainment, here is the link to his website. This technology uses sound to generate measurable changes in the electrical activity in your brain, most commonly to produce the alpha waves (8-13Hz) associated with a light relaxed meditative state.

Isochronic Beats

Here are three communications from Dallas, lightly edited for readability.

Here's some stuff you might find interesting and help you understand us better. Only half of small business owners have a degree, a lot of them only because they felt they had to. The degree has no relation to what they're doing. Out of the other half, many of the ones I meet are people like me, who became disenfranchised with a rigid and inflexible education system and left. Contrary to public opinion, the ivory towers of academia are not the exclusive purveyors of knowledge.

The ways in which we are able to start businesses are as varied as we are. Crowdfunding is becoming popular these days. For us infopreneurs we can generally start with less than $100 and bootstrap our way into outsourcing labor within a couple of years so we can focus on that 20% of what we do that makes 80% of the profit.

Taking out a small business loan from the government is something I've never even considered. You're correct, it is indeed bad debt.

Well, the crowdfunding data is still coming in, since the idea is still in its infancy. So far it's actually surprising. I can't find where I put the link with the statistics right now, but businesses started with crowdfunding actually have a higher success rates than businesses started using traditional funding methods. From the investor point of view, it's a lot less risky, because I can contribute $10 to 10 businesses instead of $100 to one business, increasing the chance of receiving a return on the investment.

As far as the $100 start-up goes, I have posted on FB about starting a blog dedicated to exploring various ways of creating sustainable, even passive, income starting with just $100. I'm waiting until I have enough content to start the site, but there are literally dozens of ways I've come up with or found out about to use even amounts as low as $0 to build a business.

There are really only two ways that you can create value for a consumer, whether it is for an individual or a business. You can provide either a product or a service. When it comes to a product-based business, you have to think in terms of what's called an MVP, or minimum viable product. If you want to start a multi-million dollar microbrewery, for example, your MVP would be a single beer that you can market directly to a single local business. Once that cash flow is established, it can be used to expand that product to a larger market, and eventually to create more products.

More along the lines of what I do, the MVP for someone who wants to build a multi-million dollar training course would consist of a single piece of content, a video or text that solves a single problem of a specific demographic. Then you market that solution, that information product, to the people who have the problem. You create value for them. You get value back in the form of money. This can then be used to help create more solutions to related problems, eventually culminating in a very high-value training course which might include video, software, whatever you can think of, that addresses the needs of a broader market.

In the realm of providing services, by far the easiest and least costly is to become the intermediary in a transaction or process chain. This can be as simple as advertising something, say logo creation services, on Craigslist, or college campus bulletin boards, or wherever your target market is likely to see it. Then when you've found the consumer, you find the provider; in this case, someone who will create the logo for less than you are charging the consumer. I've had success in this exact example by advertising logo design on Craigslist for $20, then going to fiverr.com and paying someone $5 to create the logo. The total cost to me was nothing but my time.

There really are so many thousands of ways to make money while creating value in people's lives that it would be impossible to even go into a fraction of the specifics.

Here are two interesting links provided by Dallas. The first provides some general information on small businesses and small business funding. The second article discusses crowd funding.

Small Business in America

Crowdfunding Websites from Forbes

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