Michelle Phan wanted to disrupt the beauty industry, but had no resources, no entrepreneurial experience, and no clear business model. What she did know, though, was that Youtube was the global television of the future, or at least the 2010s.
Many business owners leverage personal real estate equity to come up with funds that they can inject into their business. Because traditional business loans take a long time to approve, and are often not accessible to small or relatively new businesses without much of a business credit profile, personal equity is an easier to way to get funds to drive growth, deal with cash flow issues, or launch the business in the first place.
In an increasingly globalised environment, businesses in many industries need to operate internationally to take advantage of foreign labour and resources that allow them to remain competitive at home. Despite the many free trade relationships these businesses can take advantage of, many face major difficulties when it comes to establishing those international relationships. That’s because the major barrier they need to overcome isn’t regulatory, but financial.
When business owners think about growth, the first thing that often comes to mind is revenues, financing, and client retention. While growth often certainly feels like a numbers game, though, entrepreneurs quickly learn that it’s about people and relationships. That means finding and building strong relationships with the right investors and lenders, but it also means finding ways to recruit the right employees.
Late or non-payment is one of the trickiest issues that entrepreneurs are commonly forced to learn to deal with. How good business owners are at dealing with clients who don’t pay, or who pay late, is strongly indicative of how successful their business will be both in the short and long run.
Due to an internal political struggle, the United States government has suspended all “non-essential” government workers, including 88 per cent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers. President Trump has publicly warned that the shutdown could drag on for many months, which could lead to serious disruptions for businesses both in and outside the United States. Australian, UK, and Irish businesses who operate and pay taxes in the country, for example, could experience major delays in the processing of their tax returns. Additionally, the shutdown is threatening to disrupt air travel in the US, potentially causing delays, or eventually even forcing airports to shut down.
Employee retention is a difficult issue for all small businesses, but it can become a particularly serious challenge for SMEs who are dealing with cash flow difficulties. Tight budgets can make it impossible to offer the benefits and pay that larger established competitors provide, and startups often don’t have the funds to financially reward employee excellence through bonuses or raises.
In the past century, the way business is done has changed a great deal. How businesses manage and take advantage of data, how they market and sell products, and how they hire and manage human resources has been transformed. It’s surprising, then, that most businesses still finance their businesses the same way they did at the end of the 20th century.
By 2010 it seemed that online dating was going to be a niche market without real mass appeal. In public perception, films, and media, it was represented as a tool for the desperate or socially awkward. Then, in 2012, Tinder brought digital dating into the mainstream. Within just a few years, founder Sean Rad turned his company into a household name and a global enterprise.
For small and medium sized businesses, cash flow issues are the most-cited barrier to growth. This is because all aspects of growth require investment, from research and the development of a growth plan, to the execution of that plan, to the ongoing management of existing operations. Apart from those comparatively few who benefit from significant outside investment, businesses are forced to stretch their existing budgets, along with any financing they can secure, in order to finance their growth.