How to become a millionaire

1. Develop a written financial plan.

One of the main reasons why someone can never become a millionaire is that they haven’t written a financial plan. Developing a financial plan forces you to take action, instead of just talk. It also guides you in making the right decisions in order to achieve all of your dreams and goals.

Financial planner Scott D. Hedgcock said that, “When planning for a more secure future there are two inputs that are indispensable: how much money you have and how much money you spend.

“The basic point I want to stress about these two inputs is that they are absolutely fundamental to all financial planning regardless of how large either of them is,” Hedgcock said.

“In my experience, the biggest difference between those on the right path vs. those on the wrong path was the amount of time and effort they put into devising a plan for their finances.” But taking the time to create a plan and see it through “is the one thing all financially successful people have in common.”

Hedgcock added that, “The success experienced by those who do this occurs regardless of their relative wealth. Likewise, the failure of those who do not follow a plan is unrelated to their wealth.”

When creating a financial plan:

  • Focus on what matters most and don’t obsess over the past.
  • Focus on what you control by listing your known expenses first in your budget, and with the income left over, list the discretionary categories.
  • Focus on your future by anticipating how much your future self will need to survive.

Related: What It’s Really Like Once You Become A Millionaire

2. Focus on increasing your income.

“In today’s economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status,” wrote Grant Cardone, who went from being broke and in debt at the age of 21 to becoming a self-made millionaire by 30. “The first step is to focus on increasing your income in increments and repeating that,” Cardone said.

“My income was $3,000 a month and nine years later it was $20,000 a month. Start following the money, and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.”

Thankfully, you have several options to boost your revenue, like investing in high ROI businesses and side hustling.

Related: 20 Signs You’re Destined to Become a Millionaire

3. Take advantage of Uncle Sam’s generosity.

“The best way I know to become a millionaire is to put the power of compound interest on your side. By giving your money more time to compound and keeping your rate of return as high as possible, you greatly increase your chances of reaching a seven-figure net worth,” Brian Feroldi wrote on The Motley Fool.

“Of course, earning a high return on your nest egg is easier said than done, as many factors to create that return are outside of your control,” Feroldi continued. “However, all investors do have control over two huge factors that can put a serious drag on long-term returns: investment costs and taxes. If you want to become a millionaire, focus on keeping both as low as possible.”

Feroldi went on to write that if you have “a 401(k) or 403(b) through work, then any money you contribute to the account can grow tax-deferred, allowing your money to compound more quickly.” He also suggested opening up a traditional or Roth IRA, because those plans “keep Uncle Sam away from your money, either now or later.”

You should use a broker or brokerage firm “that charges very little per trade — and not to trade too frequently, Feroldi advised. “If you want to become a millionaire, you need all the help you can get. Making sure your investment fees and tax bill are as low as possible will go a long way toward helping you achieve your goal.”

Related: 3 Actionable Ways to Become a Millionaire

4. Increase your streams of income.

After studying the very wealthy for five years, author Thomas Corley discovered that 65 percent of self-made millionaires he studied had three streams, 45 percent had four streams and 29 percent had five or more streams. This could include starting a side business, working part time, making investments and renting out everything from your home to your car to household items. If you decide you’d like to start a business of your own, the best way to get started is to read a copy of “Starting a Successful Business from Scratch (for future millionaires). You can order your copy by looking for it on the sidebar of this website.

Related: 7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

5. Automate your savings.

If you want to become a millionaire, then you absolutely need to get into the habit of saving by contributing to your 401(k), Roth or traditional IRA, and contributing to an emergency fund that’s been placed in a money market fund. However, the way to make this work is by automating your savings. This will automatically withdraw a percentage of your salary and place it into your contributions without your ever seeing it. It’s suggested that you put 10 percent toward investments and 5 percent toward savings.

Related: 7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

6. Upgrade your skills and knowledge.

“Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously,” wrote Tucker Hughes, who became a millionaire at just the age of 22. “You don’t just need to be a master in your field; you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports-related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.”

Related: Part 2: Mental Shifts That Allowed Me To Become a Millionaire at 22

7. Live below your means and lay off the credit.

It’s widely known that the wealthiest people in the world are frugal. They don’t spend excessively on designer and luxury items. They use coupons. And, they’re known for living below their means by purchasing modest homes and vehicles.

They’re also known for keeping their debt under control by using credit sparingly. Take a cue from T. Boone Pickens, who only carries around as much cash as he needs for what he intends to buy.

Related: 11 Mistakes Standing Between You and Your First Million

8. Associate with millionaires.

“In most cases, your net worth mirrors the level of your closest friends,” Steve Siebold wrote for Business Insider. This isn’t exactly a new philosophy. It’s been around ever since Andrew Carnegie embraced the Master Mind principle.

“Exposure to people who are more successful than you are has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income,” said Siebold. “We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.”

“The reality is,” he said, “millionaires think differently from the middle class about money, and there’s much to be gained by being in their presence.”

Correcting your personal credit to get better interest rates for your business

Personal credit

While good personal credit is not a requirement for going into business, it will work to your advantage to have it, or to be in the process of improving it, especially if you want to limit obstructions to getting your business started. Good credit may help in allowing you to be a guarantor for business loans; it could lead to you being able to get better interest rates personally and professionally; especially when favorable rates are not available for your business because it is new. It doesn’t make sense not to try to fix or improve your personal credit because of the advantages it offers in obtaining and guaranteeing business loans.

Everyone makes mistakes in life and allowing your personal credit to become bad, is among the worst. You may find it’s impossible to get new credit, causing you to have to buy everything for cash. Car loans may be given to you at high-interest rates, and minimum wage clerks in stores look at you as though you are a deadbeat, though you may be earning far more than them. The problems associated with having bad credit are actually too numerous to mention here. 

Uncertain of what to do, many people go to credit repair agencies, attorneys, accountants and others, and pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to restore their credit to normal.  Well, you don’t have to fall into that trap. Following the plan below, most people can correct their personal credit within three calendar quarters. And if you follow your credit reports, you’ll be able to see improvement every month. The Saafenet Corporation thinks everyone should try to correct their personal credit. And by using this simple plan, some may experience improvements of up to 100 points on their FICO score. But the best part of it is that it is free. 

Get started by finding out what shape your credit is really in. The best way to determine if your personal credit is OK would be to order your full credit reports.  Credit reporting agencies will usually give you one free report annually. Offers for free credit scores will not work because you will not know what is driving the score.  With credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies, you may find out you have many good accounts where you have been regular with your monthly payments and just a few bad accounts where you know you have been 30 days late at least once. Even if you had 50 good accounts and three bad accounts that showed up on your credit report as negatives, you would be considered to have poor credit. 

If you find your credit is bad after receiving your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, you should first take steps to ensure your credit report only shows accurate information. The information most likely to cause you to have a poor credit score, is accurate, negative information. However, if upon review of your credit report you find negative information that is inaccurate such as items over seven years old, bankruptcy information over 10 years old, reports on accounts that do not belong to you, or other negative information that should not be there, take steps to have it removed.  That information may or may not have been accurate at one point, but after the passage of the required times, it wou1d be inaccurately negative.  Though the credit-reporting agency and the company reporting negative information about you are responsible for correcting your credit report, at times they inadvertently fail to do so. In that case, you must ensure whatever is being reported about you is accurate.

Additionally, there may be negative information on your credit report that is simply inaccurate for a variety of reasons.  The starting point to begin to rebuild your credit once you have reviewed your credit reports should be to have any inaccurate information removed or at a minimum corrected.   This may be done with a letter of dispute. And, remember that is all credit repair agencies do for you is to dispute the entries on your credit report. Some credit repair agencies will rely on the fact that many of your former creditors will not reply, and the credit reporting agency may remove any negative entries on your credit report that are not contested by your former creditors.  This practice may be viewed as unethical when it is the only approach used to correct your credit report. And, if someone has told you that is the method they will use to correct your credit; you should let them know you have a credit correction strategy you plan to implement for free. If all they will be doing is writing dispute letters on your behalf, you don’t need to spend money for that. A sample dispute letter is illustrated below.

 

Complaint Department Equifax, Experian, or Transunion (separate letters)

Address, including City, State, Zip Code 

 

Gentlemen, 

 

The credit report I received from you dated (report date), included an inaccurate entry for (describe inaccurate information). I am returning a photocopy of your credit report, with the disputed information circled.  This information is inaccurate (describe the nature of any inaccuracies, such as it is over seven years old, is not your account, or other valid reason for the inaccuracies). I respectfully request you contact the creditor responsible for that entry and jointly investigate the account, making corrections if appropriate, and notifying me of the result. 

 

Sincerely (your name) 

Enclosure: photocopy of your credit report.

Poor credit can cause you to become a target of a credit repair scam,

which may cause you to spend money unnecessarily.  It can cause you to have to pay high-interest rates or prevent the possibilities of you getting credit at all.  Only time, a plan to remove any inaccurate negatives and to repay any legitimate debt you have outstanding can repair your credit rating. There is little you can do about time but wait. But, if you don’t take steps to correct your credit, even the passage of time may not completely heal it.  

 

IMPROVING YOUR FICO SCORE WHILE YOU WAIT

 

A secondary plan you should also implement is to rebuild your FICO score. A person with a bankruptcy and a good FICO score may sometimes be approved for new credit. The rebuilding of your personal credit using secured credit cards is a strategy for which you will seldom be turned down.  If you can’t get all negatives removed from your credit report, getting new credit may be difficult.  Showing a pattern of paying secured credit cards on time can improve your FICO score; in most cases. Secured credit cards are given to most people because any charges you make are secured by a deposit you will be required to make to get the card. Completely correcting your credit overall will take time. But, the preparation of the dispute letters will remove any inappropriate negatives from your credit report, and you can do that yourself for free. 

 

That’s all credit repair agencies and firms do. Using my process can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on credit repair.  With the money, you save there is no reason you can’t get secured credit cards using the method shown below to raise your FICO score, even if you are starting with bad credit.  

By going online, get the name of banks and other organizations that offer secured Master Cards, Visa, or any other well-known card. If you want to apply for a prepaid card, be certain they report your payment history to the credit bureaus, because some of them do not.  Never apply for a card that you haven’t heard of because the probability is that most vendors who accept credit cards may not have heard of some obscure credit card either, and may not accept it. I recommend a plan which will allow you to get three $300 secured credit cards, starting with an investment of $390.00. You will not have access to the money during the period when your applications for secured credit cards are being processed. However, your money won’t be spent, you can get it back at any time simply by discontinuing use of the credit card issued, and canceling the deposit account used to start this process.

Rebuilding your credit should not require more than three of these cards.  However, you may use the same process to get two cards if you feel uncertain about entering a territory which may cause you concern, like getting three cards.  A single credit card will not do much for you.  Using my plan, these cards will not be available for use immediately, because you will be using each card to get a cash advance to get the next card.  Don’t worry, because you are not buying these secured credit cards, you are simply giving the financial institution assurance that if you don’t pay the monthly charges, they would control your account so they have no risk of loss. 

Other than writing the letters and completing applications for your secured credit cards, your involvement in this process will be minimal.  Thus, you will have time to complete all the steps necessary to stay on track.  Use your own money to get the $390 required to get your three credit cards. Just keep in mind the money will not be gone, and you can get a cash advance and get 90% of it back if you run into an emergency.  Follow the steps below to get these three secured credit cards, because even if you were not able to have all the negatives on your credit report removed, early payment on new credit cards, has the capacity to improve your FICO score.  Even with bad credit, if you establish a pattern of early payments, many creditors may gamble that you learned the lesson of how devastating bad credit can be and have straightened up.  

There is no way for a creditor to read your credit report, to know these improvements are the result of you getting secured credit.  Though nothing will improve your credit as well as the removal of all negatives from your credit report, this second method can give you some relief from the trauma of having bad credit. 

  • As soon as you obtain $390, go online and choose three different providers of secured credit cards. Request your application to apply for your first secured credit card. You should receive those applications by mail quickly, but many reputable companies will allow you to apply online. Your immediate goal is to use this system to rebuild your credit, worthiness in the eyes of creditors. Complete this process before using the cards to make normal purchases.  Which may be several months after you get this process started. 
  • You should receive your first secured credit card in six to eight weeks, immediately sign it and get a cash advance for $270,00, Put $30 with it to bring the total to $300, and apply for your second secured credit card. This will leave you $60 of the $90, you had remaining. More than 30 days will pass before the second card arrives, so to demonstrate your determination to display favorable payment patterns, make a $30 payment on the first credit card. Because, if. you make the minimum payment on the credit card of $15., most of it will be applied to interest and the principal balance of $270, will only be reduced very slightly. 
  • When the second card arrives, within six to eight weeks after you applied for it, repeat the process, and get another $270, cash advance. You will have 30 days or less to make your first payment on this second secured credit card, but the next payment on the first credit card will be due. Be certain to make that payment before the 30th day for any card you receive, as it will have a positive effect on your FICO score. Make the next payment on your first secured credit card from the $60, you had remaining from the $90, held in reserve; this will leave you $30. 
  • Assuming you are applying for these credit cards every four weeks, the third credit card will not arrive in time to make payments on the other two cards with open balances. But, you should have $30. remaining from the original $390, you started with. In keeping with my philosophy of making your payments before the 30th day after getting cash advances, or in the future when making credit purchases, use that remaining $30 to make the next payment on the first secured credit card. But, because you made more than the minimum payment of $15, on your first secured credit card, you will have at least $30 available credit on that card. Get a cash advance and use it to make your payment on the second card received. 
  • When the third secured credit card arrives, that you applied for in steps 3 and 4, you should get another $270 cash advance. But, this time, it would not make sense to get another credit card, because three is all you need for this plan, and that part of this process is complete. Use the $270 to make early payments on the first two secured credit cards of $30 each, or a total of $60, leaving you $210.00.  Each time you make a payment, the portion of the payment that is a reduction of the principal amount owed on the credit card, frees up that amount of credit for your personal or business use. Over the next three months, you will be able to make regular payments on all your secured credit cards with the cash advance you got from your third credit card.  This allows you three months of making early payments on your credit cards, which has the capacity to improve your FICO score, as long as you don’t ever make payments after the 30th  day.

Your FICO score is a credit score calculated, based on your payment history developed by Fair Isaac Corporation.  Using only this plan, you would not have to go into your pocket for months to use your own or the money or get another cash advance to make payments on the cards. The minimum monthly payment on all three of your secured cards will likely not exceed $45 monthly.  If you don’t make the minimum payments, you will have ruined the reason for which you started this process, and you will have added another negative entry to your credit report. To the extent possible, make payments larger than the minimum to gain use of these credit cards. If you don’t they will take forever to pay off, because most of your payment will be applied to interest. Should you run into an emergency, as early as the third month, you may have a small amount of available credit, if you stay true to this plan.  

Your personal credit repair efforts are not a business expense. But, if you disbursed the original $390 to get this process started from company funds, it should be recognized in your books as a distribution or a loan.  Even the worst personal credit can usually be repaired within three calendar quarters.

 

Promoting your new business

 

Introduction

It wouldn’t matter how great your products were or how great you may be if no one knows you exist. For this reason you must dedicate a material part of your resources to  the advertising and promotion of your company and the products and services you sell. While you may have to start out with cold calling just to find interested customers, you should plan to work toward the day whe you’re able to dedicate up to a third of your available resources to promotion.

Advertising online

Advertising online

Most literature on the subject will imply you can open a business online more cheaply than a brick and mortar business. While there is some truth to that philosophy, link building, online advertising and pay per click services can be very expensive. And to be easily found online all these things will be necessary. There is much more to online advertising than simply placing an ad on the Internet and hoping for the best. The most effective advertising campaigns combine numerous interconnected elements, all of which perform unique functions to maximize the campaign’s potential. Not every online advertising campaign will have every element, but the following components of a digital marketing initiative will be common to many campaigns.

An extremely effective method of promoting your business online would be to have a link building strategy. Hiring a consultant to build links for you can be very expensive and cost up to several hundred dollars monthly. Learning to do it yourself can be time consuming and require substantial study.  Links or backlinks as they are commonly called act as votes for your website and have a great deal to do with your ranking in search engines.  Understanding that large companies may have tens of thousands of links, if you plan to do it yourself it could easily take years of repeated work. Ifyou use a consultant or link building company it could cost you thousands of dollars.

A few months after starting your link building strategy, you should consider the wisdom of starting a pay per click campaign, commonly know as paid advertising.

When you think of online advertising, the chances are pretty good that you’re thinking of paid search advertising. Paid search – also known as pay per click advertising, or PPC – is one of the most common and effective types of online advertising.

Paid search allows you to automatically bid on relevant key words or terms and phrases that may cause text-based ads to be displayed to users when they enter specific search queries into Google or Bing. These terms and phrases are known as kew words or keyword phrases, and they form the basis of PPC advertising. Advertisers will have predetermined bids on keywords as part of an ad auction. This ensures that all advertisers have a fair chance of their ads being displayed to users, rather than those with the biggest advertising budgets.

Keywords should be highly relevant to your business, organized and structured into logicalad groups separated by campaign type, and aligned with the correct match type in order to be displayed to the right visitors, at the right time, for the right campaign.

While paid search may have transformed Internet advertising, paid social is transforming the web of tomorrow. Social networking remains the most popular online pastime for adults all over the world, and advertisers have evolved their strategies to target consumers where they spend their time, namely on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Paid social advertising functions similarly to paid search, with the notable exception that advertisers, not users, take the initiative – advertisers must “search” for users, rather than the other way around.

One of the greatest strengths of paid social advertising is the granularity with which advertisers can target specific customers, and this principle underpins many social advertising platforms and products. Advertisers can target users with hundreds of parameters, from demographic data (such as age, gender, income, level of education, and marital status) to browsing preferences and social behavior.

Facebook allows advertisers to target users based on their level of educational attainment, and even specific schools attended. Advertisers can also target users based on the types of pages and profiles they follow, the things they buy, and the news they read. These custom audiences can be created from existing customer data (to create “lookalike” audiences of similar users) to email lists, which Facebook and Twitter can pair with their data about these users to reveal greater insights about their behavior.

Email marketing is  important because it can produce an instant result – depending on what you sell. If you have a ‘click to buy’ elenment then you can see exactly how effective your email marketing campaign is. Not unlike all types of online marketing, email marketing is about money and how much you’re prepared to spend


With good email marketing you can move from touching the client to securing the sale in one easy trackable process. Better yet, if you’ve dealt with the client before, they’re already exceedingly qualified and you’re more than 90% there.
 
Email marketing must be an important part of marketing strategy. It is still an efficient way to stay connected with your potential customers.
 

 

 

 

Advertising offline

Signs

If you have a brick and mortar store or location for your business, physical signs are a great way to catch customer attention. Running a sale? Launching a new product? Offering an introductory offer? Put it on a sign or chalkboard outside of your store to catch attention and bring customers in! But signs can alos be useful on taxis and buses as well as well placed stationary signs.

Word of Mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most natural, and consequently one of the most compelling methods of promotion. Word-of-mouth advertising is a result of a fantastic customer experience. When a business goes above and beyond what is expected, its customers talk. These customers serve as potential ambassadors or evangelists for your company, as their recommendation can make or break a new customer’s decision to purchase your product or service over another option. In fact, 65 percent of new business comes from new referrals.

No matter what your business’s size or budget, you can get the benefits of customer referrals through simple, smart ways of promoting word-of-mouth marketing.

Free Promotional items

Free promotional items are a good way to reach customers. Items like sunglasses, frisbees, hats, drink koozies, pens, and temporary tattoos are popular with younger generations. If you’re looking to get more customers between the ages of 20 and 40 and have a decent budget, these types of free promotional items might work for you!

Newspaper Advertisements

Newspapers are the traditional print media, and newspaper advertisements have been around for hundreds of years. Small and new businesses accustomed to online advertising may be confused as to how offline advertising works.

Most newspapers, from large national papers to local city ones, use rate cards which will tell you exactly how much an advertisement would cost. Advertisements are measured by widths (across) and inches (deep). Newspaper ads are typically quoted in unit costs. A unit is a box one column wide and one inch deep, and is also known as a “column inch.” The total cost of an advertisement is calculated by multiplying the size of the advertisement (in column inches) by the average circulation of the newspaper and the cost per thousand people “reading the ad”.

Circulation of paper. Don’t get this number quoted by the newspaper itself, as it could easily be exaggerated. Request audited circulation numbers from The Alliance of Audited Media.

Cost per thousand. Remember, the more people reading the paper, the higher this cost will be. On average, for a full-page advertisement, the newspaper advertising cost ranges from $80 to $130 per thousand. $100 is a good rule of thumb to go by. Newspaper ads can be pricey but many papers offer introductory rates for new advertisers.

Are newspaper advertisements for you? That depends entirely on what industry you’re in and, most importantly, on your target audience. If your audience is a bit older, say middle-aged or seniors, you may benefit from newspaper advertisements. Print newspapers are most commonly read by those over 35 years of age. If you choose to try out newspaper ads, make sure that you’re tracking your marketing efforts by printing a specific landing page or tracked telephone number so you can tell which leads are coming from the newspaper ad.

Sponsorships

Another way to advertise your business offline is to sponsor an event, team, or group. Often part of a sponsorship includes getting your business’s name and logo in a program or on a t-shirt. For a little bit of money you can sponsor a local baseball team and get your plumbing, floral, or tutoring company in front of tons of people!

Flyers and Postcards

Remember the days when flyers on bulletin boards were the best way to get your information out? Although it’s much less significant, flyers still have a place in the world today. Businesses that are in a college town or an area that gets a lot of foot traffic may benefit from flyers placed in common areas like community bulletin boards, signposts, or other common areas.

When using flyers or postcards, include relevant business information directing people to your website and social media pages so that interested people can learn more about your business. Tracking marketing with flyers or postcards is easy to do if you have a tracked phone line through a company like Thrive Hive. With a tracked line, you can place a unique phone number on a flyer and see how many calls come into that specific line.

Events and Trade Shows

A great way to grow your business is to promote it at physical events. Whether you’re going to a local community event or a national trade show, having a physical presence is undoubtedly a good way to get your business in front of potential customers.

If you have a locally oriented business, getting involved in community events like industry networking events, niche groups, or referral groups like BNI. Another option is to use a tool like meetup.com where you can meet like-minded individuals in person.

Radio Advertisements

While video is the leader in story media, radio is not dead. Radio advertisements have consistently proven to be one of the most effective advertising techniques. Indeed, about 77% of adults tune into radio, and the average listener spends almost two hours daily listening to AM/FM radio (typically during their commute). Radio is also useful for international companies who may have target audiences in areas with low rates of Internet penetration. In such places, such as rural areas, radio tends to be extremely popular.

Radio advertisements could be good for you if you’re trying to advertise to a local population. With over 11,000 commercial radio stations in the United States alone, you can target your advertising very effectively. Radio ads are also beneficial because you can reach people at very convenient times. Most people tune in to radio at popular shopping times, such as driving to work, lunchtime, and driving home. This makes radio ads particularly useful to retail and restaurant businesses. Keep in mind that radio advertisement is best for simple messaging. If you have a complex message or if the benefits of your company are not easy to describe quickly and succinctly, radio may not be the best medium for you.

Conclusion

There is no perfect promotional mix for any company, but the items listed above for both online and offline advertising are strong possibilities that may be used for most companies. You don’t need to have them all at once but your goal should be working on getting and keeping the promotional methods that work for your company. If you can’t develop a means of keeping a regular stream of leads coming into your business, it will be hard to stay open and your company could well be on a cash flow roller coaster that has caused many businesses to fold. Thus, if you’re serious about going into business, you must make promotion an integral part of the management of your company.

 

How The Saafenet Corporation helps you

The Saafenet system is made up of a series of websites dedicated to providing information and tools aimed at helping small businesses to succeed. This help is most useful when the business owner uses that information and tools to move his business forward. We won’t run your business for you.

We’re completely different from a web development company that will build you a website, require payment and then offer you other paid services. When we give you an online presence that is just the beginning. And it’s a one time set up fee not a monthly charge. We then find new work for you and no web developer does that. We work as partners to you that you don’t have to share your net income with.

We help you prepare any document needed to start or keep your business in compliance with the law. You can then graduate to our site offering both instruction and tools to give your company an online and offline presence. Should you join our movement we will then include the details for your company in our promotional site which is promoted to the top 2,000 companies in America.

Business owners can use our document processing services to start and continue their statuary requirements for document submissions. Where necessary the business owner can make us responsible to ensure they remain in compliance. We develop a customized online presence for you and offer instruction on how to promote your company offline. However it is up to the business owner to keep those presentations current and efficiently use them to get new business. We will promote your company but it’s up to the business owner to be prepared to close the deal when a lead contacts them.

Starting a business is more than putting the tools or inventory for resale required to serve the consuming public. If no one knows you exist you won’t make sales. We help you make your business legal, give you the tools to promote and make potential customers aware of your existence. We set you up but you have to keep it going. And we do it for less than anyone online.

 

How to get a business Loan even with bad credit

Every business needs to borrow money at some point

One of the first recommendations you’ll get from the Saafenet Corporation is to straighten out your credit if you’re considering opening a business. Though our training manual will help you to raise the money to get started in many small businesses, at some point that money will be exhausted. No matter what type of business you plan to open at some point you’ll need a loan to cover payroll, for operating capital, or for dozens of other reasons.  However, if you have weak or poor credit, you will either get disapproved or pay unreasonable interest rates.

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

Lenders look at a borrower’s credit score to evaluate the likelihood of repayment. The higher the credit score is, the more likely a borrower will pay his loan. The lower the credit score is lenders have to make a decision to either disapprove the loan or to charge high interest to cover their risks.

The difference between good and bad credit rating vary widely depending on the lender. Some lenders won’t even look at you if you have a credit score that’s below 650 while others may still consider your application.

Here’s the general assessment of credit scores:

  • 760-850 – Excellent
  • 700-759 – Very good
  • 660-699 – Good
  • 620-659 – Poor
  • Below 620 – Very poor

Borrowers who have good to excellent credit ratings generally receive the best loan terms. Those that belong to the poor and very poor categories end up with high rates, if they’re approved at all.

There are steps you can take to get a loan even when you have bad credit. But the most sensible course of action is to improve your credit. Complete instructions for improving your credit free without the expense of a credit counselor are available on the front page of this website free of charge.

Improving your credit score:

If you follow our guidance, you can dramatically improve your credit score within three (3) calendar quarters. And it’s a smart move to improve your credit score before applying for a loan. This doesn’t mean you should wait to start your business but improving your credit score must be a high priority. Using our fundraising methods you may not need a loan to get started. Which would be hard to get anyway. But at some point all businesses need a loan. So reducing your debt, using secured credit cards and making on-time payments must be a part of your plan.

Get a co-signor:

A co-signor is someone willing to agree to paying off your loan if you default. Of course the co-signor must have good credit to qualify. And, it’s important for you to make every effort to pay off the loan or you will cause the co-signer to have to pay for your debt. Try to use this as a last resort.

Apply for a bad credit loan:

Only use this option if you are in dire need of borrowed funds. There are lenders that have special programs for borrowers with poor credit. The interest rates and terms will typically be poor. So in the long run,it’s always better to work to improve your credit score.

Last minute issues before considering starting a business

15 ways to improve your chances at succeeding in business

Becoming your own boss, along with the possibility of earning many times what you could earn as an employee is hard for most people to resist. However, more often than not, the odds will be stacked against you and that’s why 9 out of 10 startups fail, according to Fortune.

But  1 out of 10 succeed. Although there’s no sure fire way to become a successful entrepreneur, most successful entrepreneurs have achieved the 15 goals cited below:

1. Identify your goals

Goal-setting may not be the most sexy-sounding task, but it’s one that’s crucial to your success. Just think, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know when you get there?

Setting goals can take a few basic forms for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Income goals

Your income is one of the first few and most important considerations when it comes to running a business because more often than not, you’ll need to give up something else to find time to delve into entrepreneurship.

Are you looking to become a millionaire in a few short years? Or are you gunning for a spot next to billionaires like Mark Zuckerburg and Warren Buffett?

Knowing upfront what your income expectations are will keep you accountable to yourself and other stakeholders in your company or your family back home.

With that being said, however, being overly focused on revenue can affect the way you run your business in negative ways. Be sure to do regular reviews to see if you’re on track.

Lifestyle goals

Entrepreneurship is not a 9-5 job. In most cases, there aren’t any fixed hours and you’ll typically end up working harder than you have ever worked before. The faster you realize that the better, so you can evaluate whether this may or may not be the lifestyle you want to live in the long term.

Various entrepreneurs instead decide to run lifestyle businesses where they work remotely from any location and are selective with the work they decide to accept.

If you intend to work remotely with a four-hour work week, the business that you decide to do will have to enable you to do that. At the same time, by balancing out projections with your income goals, you’ll get a much better idea of whether your decision is a feasible one.

2. Outsource tedious tasks

As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely be starved for time on a regular basis. Dedicating your time solely to high value tasks and outsourcing the rest will help you reclaim your sanity and grow your business faster.

A good temporary option is to consider hiring interns. This can be very beneficial for startups that are strapped for cash.

Typically, internships are meant to give interns real-world working experience at a more conservative allowance. This lets interns learn the ropes without long-term commitment whilst business owners get to save a little bit of cash at the start.

Otherwise, you can also try hiring freelancers from Fiverr to help you in the areas that you do not specialise in. This can mean writing, designing or even video editing.

Although it may not be tedious per say, it does help you manage your time more efficiently by letting you work on your strengths.

3. Automate processes with technology

We live in an age where we can automate most processes using software and algorithms. Not only that, automation is fundamental in scaling a company’s marketing and also drives revenue – 60% of which are B2B buying process done online according to Forbes.[2]

A low-hanging function for automation is marketing. Email marketing software like MailChimp lets you configure autoresponders to send sequences of mails without any additional involvement after the first setup.

Automating processes is also extremely efficient as it helps handle repetitive tasks that can be too time consuming. What you want is to let your staff maximise their time spent working on more useful things.

Another example is a software program called ‘Rosie the Robot’, developed by the West Monroe Partners (WMP).[3]

This software program takes on cumbersome and manual tasks off, including the hiring system – where it uploads names, addresses, dates of birth and other employee information into several systems such as travel and expense, payroll and insurance.

This cuts down the process time taken – whereby a person takes half an hour to settle this task, it takes only five minutes for the software to do so.

4. Invest in design sparingly

Investing in branding and design might seem like an action that is reserved for much bigger companies or more season entrepreneurs, but it can increase profits exponentially when done right – even for smaller businesses.

A professional visual identity not only helps you appear more professional, but in the long run, new customers will find you more trustworthy and at times premium.

Naturally, you don’t want to go all out on branding by spending thousands when you first start. Instead, try using free online tools like LogoJoy or developing a single-page brand guideline[4] for the time being.

If you need to develop collateral, try using some free icons available online for your projects instead of paying for expensive stock imagery.

5. Get online, or be forgotten

In today’s digital market, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. Even traditional businesses can benefit greatly from leveraging digital marketing and developing a strong online presence.

Start by getting yourself a hosting account for your company’s website domain, register all the name-brand social handles before they get snapped up by others and begin to populate these platforms with content.

What made a real difference for me in the early stages of developing my business was purchasing my own domain from platforms like Host Gator or Go Daddy. This provided a contact point for interested customers or collaborators to reach out to me directly via a simple contact form.

 

6.Use videos to market your business

Almost 5 billion Youtube videos are watched everyday. Aside from that, we’re seeing a rise in video productions used on a variet y of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and more. Research has also shown that videos have been proven to increase retention by 80% when used correctly.[5]

If you aren’t yet leveraging on videos for your business, some ways you can consider are:

  1. Informational videos that educate your target audience to help them get what they want.
  2. Product-specific videos to expound on the benefits of your services or offerings.
  3. Timely statistical videos that piggyback on current news for relevance.

7. Conduct an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

This might not apply to every business, but if you’re working with a strong technical team with blockchain ambitions, this could be a worthy consideration.

Initial Coin Offerings are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to raise funding rivalling even venture capital. It’s quick, loosely regulated (as at 2018) and can potentially solve your cash problems.

The only drawback is that you’ll only be able to receive funds in cryptocurrency which you’ll then need to convert into fiat.

8. Write a blog

Starting and writing a blog is one of the easiest ways to get noticed online. Regularly sharing useful and valuable information to your prospective customers via your blog can potentially increase traffic to your site as well as aid in building authority for your brand.

A popular strategy that involves writing for blogs known as ‘guest posting’ is not only a great way to drive traffic to your blog from other platforms, it also helps you rank on Google’s search rankings. The only catch is that you’ll have to earn a spot by pitching your own stories.

At the same time, there are other platforms like Medium and Linkedin with their own pool of users where anyone can publish content. Consider syndicating content from your blog on these platforms in the early stages to build a following and take your content much further.

With the rising popularity and efficacy of content marketing as a strategy, its no wonder thousands of business owners have benefitted from it as a long-term strategy.

9. Build an email list

Any seasoned business owner will tell you that your list or database of contacts is one of the most valuable assets you can have. It’s important that you store the contact information of qualified individuals that might be interested in your products and services.

This is so you can reach out to them consistently using email marketing software like MailChimp, which can keep your sales pipeline full and your income steady.

Developing a nurturing cycle – a series of emails for new subscribers that opt-in to your email list will increase your chances of converting them into paying customers by maintaining top-of-mind presence and developing deeper relationships.

10. Try networking

They say your network is your ‘net worth’. Networking is a give-and-take exercise that requires you to be authentic, sometimes daring but most importantly, always resourceful.

Getting connected to prolific individuals or magnates in adjacent industries can accelerate the growth of your business with opportunities that you may not have gotten, if you had not put yourself out there to meet new people.

Try heading to your local casual networking meetups or to a more formal conference with a purpose: meeting people that you can help and the ones that can help you.

11. Develop a personal brand

If you are the face of your business, you’ll do well by investing in developing a personal brand. This means that if people trust you, they’ll by association, trust the business.

A great example of someone who’s successfully done so is Neil Patel – someone who’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on growing his personal brand. He has built a strong audience, consistently writes contrarian thought pieces and has also delivered massive value to his followers.

Although it can be a daunting experience when it comes to building a personal brand starting from ground zero, here are some simple yet helpful tips to make your journey as seamless as possible:

  • Decide what you stand for as a brand.
  • Decide what you don’t stand for as a brand.
  • Develop content for your social channels that are helpful to your audience but also communicate your stance on topics related to your expertise.

12. Model after your competitors or differentiate

This might sound counter intuitive but your competitors with a longstanding business can be useful references for the way you run yours.

Take a leaf from their strategies to acquire more customers and grow your bottom-line. More often than not, you’ll find that they’ve made all the mistakes that you can avoid to get to their current method of operation. Consider:

  • How they do marketing – how do they gain awareness and more customers?
  • Their brand messaging and how they communicate to the public
  • The way they price their services

Naturally, there may also be a lot of things your competitors are doing wrong. Do well to avoid those pitfalls –with the benefit of hindsight– and you’ll get ahead of them one day.

13. Form strategic partnerships

Partnerships are one of the fastest ways to grow your business without using too much of your own resources. The best partnerships are ones where partners have similar target audiences but don’t directly compete with each other.

These strategic partnerships could come in the form of co-marketing efforts where you organise campaigns together, ultimately sharing cost and contact database for promotion.

Another basic way to collaborate with partners is to develop referral programs – if your partner refers a successful sale, they’ll get a kickback commission and vice versa.

14. Improve your public speaking

Public Speaking is a skill that legendary investor Warren Buffett advocates for people to learn in order to boost their careers and success in life – and it is with good reason.

Being able to speak well and articulate confidently on stage can mean increased trust and visibility for your business on the right platforms.

Try offering an educational session at a local business association full of your target audiences. You’ll be surprised at how much traction you can get when attendees start to recognise you as a thought-leader on your subject.

You can also take a look at my detailed guide about public speaking to learn more tips:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

15. Manage your cash flow

One of the biggest killers of businesses is badly managed cash flow, where customers don’t pay on time coupled with high regular expenses in your business.

Work with an accountant to forecast spending and keep a close eye on your accounts receivables. That way, you’ll get to avoid a messy time where you’re short on cash not because you don’t have the business, but because you failed to collect payment on time.

The bottom line

These tips should be enough to get you started, but growing a company is a big undertaking not meant for the faint of heart. As you grow nearer to startng your own business consider how you’ll address these 15 points.

 

Qualify for HUB Zone Certification

Become HUB Zone Certified

The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in historically underutilized business zones (HUB Zones). It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition. Joining the HUB Zone program makes your business eligible to compete for the program’s set aside programs much like the 8(a) set aside program. HUB Zone-certified businesses also get a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. HUB Zone-certified businesses can still compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs they qualify for. Before continuing, ensure your company is located in a HUB Zone by accessing this map: HUB Zone Map. Hit the back button to return to the Saafenet website.

To qualify for the HUB Zone program, your business must:

  • Be a small Business as defined by SBA size standards
  • Be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian organization, or an Indian tribe
  • Have its principal office located in a HUB Zone
  • Have at least 35 percent of its employees live in a HUB Zone

To apply for HUB Zone Certification you must meet these criteria:

  1. Make sure you have a SAM.gov account.
  2. Make sure you have a General Login System account.
  3. Apply for HUBZone certification using the General Login System. Log in, select “Access” and then “HUBZone” before completing the prompts.
  4. Check your email for time-sensitive instructions to electronically verify your application within 10 business days.
  5. Submit any requested supporting documentation within 10 business days.
  6. Update your SAM.gov profile to indicate you are a HUBZone business after you get an email confirmation from the SBA.

The mission of the Saafenet Corporation

We assist businesses both large and small in achieving their business goals with their web presence and productivity solutions. Saafenet is the largest business development company on the east coast, dedicated to offering businesses the 360 degrees of support necessary to help them succeed. Your success is our success. The mission of the Saafenet Corporation is to help new and young businesses beat the national averages for survival in business. If your company has no website, we explain the importance of having one, and demonstrate how it will improve your profitability. Then we develop a customized website for less than 1/5 the cost most website developers will put a website together for you. But, in addition we also give you business cards, stationary and envelopes to help give you the look of an established company. These features alone can help to improve your profitability, but we go a lot further.

Once we’ve given your company a professional appearance, our sales staff will review available offerings to locate possible new work for your company. Rather than spend money on promotions that work better when you have the proper foundation, we make certain you have a foundation from which you can grow. Listings in directories don’t work if you send interested parties to a poorly designed website that speaks poorly of your company. We make sure you have a website that encourages sales and makes more money for you. Using services to ensure your listings are consistent on the Internet are worthless if interested parties visit a website that fails to encourage sales.

But, we also give you back office support so you don’t have to spend money for salaries for support staff who don’t earn a dime for your company. Saafenet truly offers the only one stop business support service online that every new or young company should avail themselves to.

We help you make it work and no company that has worked with us has seen less than a 50% increase in sales. Some have realized as much as a 300% increase in sales. Stop working yourself to death for ordinary earnings and join the Saafenet Revolution to make going into business the right choice for you. We help you catch that elusive quality most business have trouble achieving, Success.

10 Reasons why all businesses need a website

97% of consumers shop online but 49% of small businesses don’t have a website

websiteNo matter what size your business is you should have a website, because it may be the first place a potential customer has contact with your company. A primary concern of any business person should be to create every means possible for customers and potential customers to spend money with their companies. A website can be one of those means. And, we give you far more than just a website with our three (3) pronged approach to growing your business. But, there are other reasons every business should have a website. Ten (10) important reasons are listed below.

 

Ten important reasons for your company to invest in a website

The first five reasons

  1. A website is a tool that can be used to sell your products or services. If you hope a part of the growth of your company will include the satisfaction of your customers due to their ability to order your products without having to make a trip to your shop or to have you come to them, then you need a website. But just having a website is only the beginning. You need a way to attract people to your website. Several presences on social media can be useful. Email marketing is very useful. but you must also be able to measure visitor behavior and website health as a material part of maximizing the utility of your website. Saafenet gives you all of that.
  2. A website allows you to conduct business 24 hours a day. That’s right, your shop or office doesn’t have to be open for customers to order your products even after hours. If you sell a physical product, customers may place orders after hours and you can fill them the next morning when you open. If you sell a service, customers can set appointments to see you or be seen by you. Properly used a website can become another revenue stream for your company.
  3. You can attract business outside the geographical territory of your brick and mortar business serves. Or outside the territory you are willing to travel to. If you have a product or service with world wide appeal, that you can deliver world wide, the entire planet can become your territory. Your staff  can eliminate territorial boundaries with a website and the sky is your limit with a properly used and promoted website.
  4. Your clients and customers expect you to be online. Recent studies reveal customers are more likely to contact and do business with companies with an online presence. You could be missing an entire revenue stream if you can’t be found online.
  5. You can use your website to educate potential customers about your company. And properly done you attract business you may not have gotten without a website.

Five additional reasons you must have a website

  1.  A website can help build the credibility of your company and help convince customers of your legitimacy.
  2.   A website allows you to showcase the products and services you sell and even provide proof in the way of testimonials of the satisfaction of previous customers.
  3.   Typical customer questions about your company and its products or services may be answered at your website. This can be a time saver when it reduces or eliminates the probability potential customers will call you during the workday for additional information about your company and/or its offerings.
  4.   You can improve customer support by simply adding a chat feature to your website so customers in need of aftermarket support can access it without making a trip to your shop or office.
  5.  Your website can save you money, because anything you would have paid to have printed can be put on your website free. An expensive catalog can cost hundreds of dollars to have printed and will have the additional cost of distribution to your customers. With a website, you can have your catalog online. When you want to announce a sale or a special, you can do so on your website and even include printable discount coupons without incurring printing costs.

Why it’s important to start your business with the right foundation

Why the right foundation can increase the probability of your survival.

foundationIf you’ve decided you want to start a business, it’s critical you understand the statistics on new business survival. Understanding only 5% of businesses started just three (3) years earlier, will have closed, should not stop you. Understanding the survival rate for Internet businesses may even be worse, should only lead to investing as much research as is necessary to increase your chances of survival and profitability.  

Most businesses fail because the business owner failed to invest the time necessary to ensure he had the right product to sell, had chosen a market hungry buy it, and a had developed a means to communicate effectively with them.

These issues must be addressed by anyone looking to succeed in business. They’re critical parts of developing a foundation for your business, giving it a chance of beating the odds. Starting a business now is easier than it has ever been if you have the right strategy. Looking to get rich quick, should not be a part of your strategy. If you don’t plan to offer your customers value, maybe going into business isn’t for you. A good rule of thumb would be to use the 1/3/5 rule when planning to start a business. It typically takes one (1) year for customers to even know you exist. It typically takes three (3) years to earn more than you could make working a job. And it usually takes five years to have the confidence to consider expansion, or the possibility of earning big money. If you aren’t prepared to deal with those realities it may be best if you look for ways to advance in your career.

Develop a realistic plan before investing money or time

 A first and critical element of starting any business is to have a plan. You must plan how you’ll make money. A material part of that is determining who your potential customers will be, and how your offering will address a need they have. You have to determine if you’ll have enough money in reserve to execute the plan you develop. We all have dreams, but starting a business without a plan, can become a nightmare. Then you must have a plan to communicate with your target market. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling if no one knows you have it. A terrible philosophy many failed business owners have undertaken is to write a one or two page business plan then spending the time you would have spent writing a comprehensive plan to learn as you go. It may have worked in some obscure situations, but I have never heard of it working at all.

Developing a detailed business plan requires you research the market you plan to serve. It helps you develop possible contingencies you may have to employ when a section of your plan isn’t functioning as you’d hoped. In many ways it’s like the paper trading investors do before trying it with their money. Properly prepared, business plans help you determine if you’ve met benchmarks you set for your excursion into the jungle called owning a business. Business plans alone can increase the probability of your survival by four (4) to five (5) times.

Not until you’ve invested the time and research into developing a personalized business plan should you consider spending money to develop a foundation for your planned company

Even with a business plan, some business owners make a mistake of investing all their available resources in buying inventory for resale or buying the literature, Internet access and other tools necessary to sell services to customers or clients. Using that approach may not prepare you to even cover your costs. Only a few people will know you exist and you may spend years trying to brand your company and get it known.

Many people think a material part of that implementation should be a website. Unfortunately they’re only half right. It goes without saying a sticky website that keeps visitors engaged in the technological world we live in is a must. But, you must have a means of getting visitors to your website to realize the value it can provide. Most developers charge hundreds if not thousands for a website, which does little by itself. You need a domain, and hosting, e-mail marketing, a presence on social networks, a means to analyze visitor behavior at your website and to analyze website health. you can get those things from Saafenet for a few hundred dollars and the resultant increase in sales can make it seem like it was free.

Professional help is another cost few new business people factor into their calculation of cost to open a business. Even with days or weeks of rigorous research, some important steps may be overlooked. Plans on dealing with an unexpected contingency may not have been made. Or, conclusions developed may have been insufficient to deal with it. Due to some commonalities in all businesses, advice may be sought from the volunteers of Score.  However these executives typically were employed by large companies. They may never had to deal with issues as simple as how to get their first clients. Small business expertise is what’s needed. The advice available through Saafenet is more targeted to small business. And, may address issues an executive from a huge corporation may never have had to address. He may offer theory, but you need the advice of someone with actual experience. The customer service engineers at Saafenet have that kind of exposure and can keep you from making mistakes that destroy small businesses every day. Their advice could easily make the difference between success and failure for a small business.

Having hopefully reinforced the need for planning read the next post to see the minimum paperwork necessary before you can even apply to have your business licensed.