Monthly Archives: April 2016

BootStrapping Your Startup

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BootStrapping Your Startup

Some of us who wish to start a business are not fortunate enough to have a successful track record in creating start-ups to be able to attract financing. Even Bill Gates was new in business at one point in his life, yet banks don’t like to take chances on people without a track record. This is where it may be necessary for you to bootstrap your new business venture. This term basically just means you’ll be doing it without external capital raised from traditional sources such as a bank business loan or venture capital investors. You’ll have to be that stereotypical start-up that finances the launch of their business with a chunk of their savings and perhaps a couple personal credit cards.

How to Manage Bootstrapping a New Business

The first thing to do when you are low on start-up capital is to see what you need to pay for now to get your business off the ground and what can wait. It may not be a smart thing to immediately lease an office space and start outfitting it with desks and chairs if an internet connection and a space at a public storage company may be enough to get you going. This frees up money in this critical phase of getting your business off the ground for those products or services you really need from the beginning. Cutting personal expenses to the bone and watching cash like a hawk will both also help in keeping the maximum amount of money going where it needs to go in the beginning.

Starting a Domain Registration and Hosting Company

One example of a business today that could be started at a minimal cost is selling domains and perhaps web hosting as an add-on service. Striking out on your own from the beginning can be very expensive. There is an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN. People who are starting out as brand new domain registrars must pay them a few thousand dollar fee before they are allowed to sell a single domain. You would also need to buy all the computers and servers to have the technical infrastructure to be able to offer the hosting.

Starting Out As a Reseller to Dramatically Cut Costs

There are actually businesses, some of which are fairly big names in domain registering and web hosting themselves, that enable people to become resellers. ResellerClub and GoDaddy are a couple such companies. They have already paid the ICANN fees that enable them to offer domain registration services, and then you subcontract to offer these services. Even though you are linked to an already established player in the industry, you are able to resell domains and hosting services under your own brand. There are those that have no setup fees and that allow you to set up others as sub-resellers under you. The power in this is that you are able to start building your own brand right from the outset but at practically no expense except whatever it costs you to market your services.

It May Be Wise to Start Small and Then Branch Out When Ready

It pays to start small when beginning a new business. It’s possible that you may find out you didn’t know as much as you thought about the promoting, marketing or just plain running the business. If it ends up tanking, then minimizing your losses by having started on a shoestring budget is something you’ll be thankful for later. There’s nothing worse than having to pay back large bank business loans and not having the money to do so.

Starting Big Can Be Smart if You Know What You’re Doing

The aforementioned example of minimizing your losses by starting small can be smart, but there is a curious psychological phenomenon at play. The less you have vested in something, the less you tend to value it. Put another way, if someone has tens of thousands of dollars sunk into a new business and they have themselves in debt up to their ears getting that money, you had better believe they will pay very close attention to this business venture and do everything they can to make it succeed. This approach is risky, however, and should probably only be done by someone who has experience in the industry in which they would be starting a business. Nothing focuses the mind quite like having a lot riding on your decisions.

To Bootstrap or Not?

Sometimes the decision to start from internal cash resources alone or needing capital from elsewhere is determined by the industry you are planning to operate in. If you are planning to start a car dealership, for example, you had better either have a wealthy uncle or a friend who’s a banker on your speed dial or forget about it. That business requires plenty of start-up capital for the lot and building and employees and god only knows what else depending on each state’s rules and regulations.

In the case of the domain registration business, however, the decision would depend on your experience with the industry. Also, if you present a business plan to a banker and they are willing to provide financing, this is a pretty strong indication that it is a sound business plan and should succeed. It may make sense in that scenario to be more aggressive, and start out with more money to get the business to a highly profitable condition in a less time. The decision will depend on the industry, your experience, other individual circumstances, and of course, whether outside financing is even an option.

Like Farming – Like This Post if You Want to Get Scammed

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Like This Post if You Want to Get Scammed

Like farming on Facebook is a real threat that many users are not even aware of.

Have you noticed a rise in unusual and intriguing headlines one Facebook lately? There is a good possibility that these stories are fake. It is common for Facebook users to like these types of posts that their friends post just to show them they saw it, but this is where the scammers get you. By “liking” the link, you are in fact promoting it, and when more Facebook users see the link, more users are likely to click on the link. This is where the trouble starts.

First of all, liking and clicking on the articles causes your friends’ newsfeed to be filled with unwanted links, which can of course be annoying to your Facebook friends. However, and more importantly, selecting these phony articles does not only collect information about you and your friends for marketing purposes, but also collects important private data from your computer, such as credit card information and passwords.

Also, almost as troubling as the breach in privacy on your computer, these posts can later be edited by companies to appear as though you liked things you never would have liked, thus hurting your online reputation. For example, you may think you are liking an article your friend posted about politicians or conjoined twins, then look back on your newsfeed later and instead see that you apparently liked a fishy-sounding medical company that you have never even heard of.

What are some examples of some Facebook like-farming posts, you ask? Anything that seems unreal or suspicious in nature. Some posts may say that by simply selecting the link, you could win a million dollars, or will receive a free computer if they are one of the first 100 likes. Some of these fake articles may also be appeal to other emotions, like sharing a photo of a child who has cancer, or asking you to share a link to prove your belief in God. Unless you know where these articles originated, it is best not to like them, as they could very well be a scam.

Some families have even alerted the police and the media that their personal photos are being stolen and used for these fake stories. One woman’s birth announcement in Connecticut was used in a fake Facebook story, claiming she had given birth to her 14th child, and all 14 children had different fathers. This of course was not true.

To help prevent a Facebook farming scam from happening to you, follow these important tips:

  • Carefully review each post that contains a link before you like it.
  • Only post or like news articles from credible news sources.
  • Avoid sharing or liking emotional posts about strangers.
  • Do not like a post to get free stuff, especially if there is no company attached to it. If you do recognize a company name in the headline, check the company website to verify the content of the post.
  • When it doubt, do not like or click.
  • If you select a friend’s link may be suspicious, let them know as soon as possible.

Like farming on Facebook is scary, but the best way to fight back is with information. Save your liking to credible posts by following the tips above, then rest free and carry on with the cute cat videos.