Monthly Archives: January 2013

Funding My Business Venture: Where to Look

piggy bankAll successful businesses need a source of captial. Without proper funding the opportunities for growth are slim to none. Too often, we see budding entrepreneurs who have brilliant ideas but take the wrong turn when it comes to seeking funding.

One source of investment is venture capital. However the reality is, that even with the many creative ideas, the amount of venture capital investments within the last few years has dropped. The current economic climate is volatile to say the least, making high profile investors are cautious when deciding where to place their funds. With so many worthwhile startups competing for attention, many investors find themselves unable to keep up to the demand.

Here are some additional funding options that might better suit your business type and objectives.

Approach the Banks:

Banks offer small businesses a number of financing options. If you supply them with proper documentation and present a convincing case, these types of institutions will be more than happy to offer you a business loan or a credit repayment program that suits your individual needs. All you have to do is demonstrate cash flow, present a solid business plan and convince creditors that yours is a once in a lifetime investment that they cannot afford to lose. Know your numbers; there is nothing worse than humming and hawing in front of a group of people who are ready to invest in you. Banks are likely to consider your personal banking history and repayment habits. For that reason I’d recommend that you initiate a personal relationship with the financial institution of your choosing before approaching funders with your request.

Apply For Grants:

There are many local and and government granting options Look for a collaborative government or community based project research initiatives that helps advance mutual interests. Such resource sharing arrangement will optimize growth potential for small and medium size businesses.

Independent Investors & Acquaintances:

Independently run organizations with cash to spare, will often choose to provide you with the necessary funds for a return on investment or as a one-time grant. These types of entities are willing to endorse ventures that they deem to be of value to existing community efforts or as part of a philanthropic initiative.

If asked, friends and family can lend a hand. This option is great for smaller cash loans and does not require too much headache. Always be aware of whom you’re dealing with and communicate at all times.

Whatever funding type you choose, know that every decision takes risk and preparation. Strategic investors, venture capitalists and independent entities are looking for the next best thing so if you play it right, you may be well on your way.

For more detailed information and a great comparison of funding methods, read a great article by our CEO Reg Charney on funding and your business.

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Meet Peter

PeterPeter Widdis is a driven marketing expert with a passion for innovation. He is also an integral part of the WizOf.Biz board of consultants.

In this post I'll let Peter tell you a bit about who he is, his perspective on the work that we do and highlight a few of the key elements that make this business platform invaluable to users.

1) Tell me a bit about yourself.

Simply put, I love & live building new things, through lifelong learning. I'm incredibly compassionate about connecting key insights into key ideas to open brand innovation anytime, anywhere! I am senior consultant with Boston-based Stratovation Associates and Professor of Marketing and Innovation subjects on the College scene here in Toronto.

Prior to joining Stratovation Associates and increasing my teaching commitments, I held senior leadership roles in primarily marketing and innovation at Cadbury Adams, Campbell Soup Company, Marc Anthony Cosmetics, GREY Advertising, LANG & Associates, GEM Group and LAUNCH! during my career journey.

2) What intrigued you about a business like WizOf.Biz?

Most small business owners are passionate about ideas and innovation which is great! However, often they are operated by people with little or/ no business experience…often even one person – who doesn't have a sounding board to get advice from during both the start-up, growth and maturity phase of one's business life cycle. The WizOf.Biz is the platform for them….a place where the wisdom they need is accessible and affordable too!

3) Can you share with us a few things that you've learned about Reg Charney e.g. his personality and/or business etiquette, that our readers may like to know?

Reg is driven to help all entrepreneurs win, period. He is not in this for himself and cares about seeing every start-up make it. A true serial entrepreneur, I have never seen anyone as relentless to see WizOf.Biz realize it's vision. Not too mention, he is a man of tremendous integrity which I have the utmost respect for.

4) In your opinion what makes WizOf.Biz unlike any existing on-line platform used to help businesses succeed?

Reg and his founders really listen to their audience. They want to create the absolute best platform on the web and the new user interface reflects this. They are truly in the business of providing "wisdom to entrepreneurs in need"….matching start-ups with extraordinary consulting advice that's affordance too.

5) Since your involvement with WizOf.Biz what important connections/advancements were you able to achieve?

I've grown immensely professionally as I have hands-on experience in working with real entrepreneurs, having spent a large part of my career working in multinational corporations as more of an "intrepreneur", so to speak. But now, having been apart of the WizOf.Biz community and connecting with real entrepreneurs, my appreciation for the benefits of a web platform like this has grown immensely.

6) Would you recommend WizOf.Biz to young entrepreneurs and small businesses that are looking for guidance and advice? Why?

Absolutely. It is a wonderful platform or/ hub for entrepreneurs to get matched with consulting advice to help their business ideas win. Reg's vision is to help every entrepreneur get the business wisdom they need to succeed; his WizOfBiz web innovation reflects his vision.

Thanks Peter

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Consider Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business is a scary prospect. Many of us have a strong desire to do what we love, but we fear leaping into the unknown. Instead we work long hours and contribute to the bottom line for others.

However there are many advantages to going out on your own. With a new year underway perhaps you should consider doing just that. Here are some of reasons to get you thinking.

1) A large part of being happy comes from the freedom to do what you love. Without that freedom, we remain largely unfulfilled. No amount of money is going to buy you the type of joy that comes from knowing you’ve made something your own.

2) Taking a leap of faith can open new doors and take you somewhere you haven’t been before. Not to mention that If you truly love what you do others will notice and will want to help you succeed.

3) By running a business you can be proud of your own accomplishments.You can achieve great success that you never thought was possible when drawing a salary. No longer will you have to put your time and effort into someone else’s pocket. Instead you’ll be able to invest these inner resources into yourself.

4) Job security is becoming a thing of the past. Virtually every employer is feeling the pressure of a fragile economy. Therefore, no one is immune to unemployment. By running your own business, you’re no longer at the mercy of a finicky boss who’s just waiting for you to slip up.

5) When running your own business you will have the mindset for creativity and self-awareness which is impossible to achieve in a cubicle. Your motivation will come from the actions you choose to take to make your business a success. People will look at you with a renewed sense of respect for having made a difference in their lives.

If I’ve managed to put a spark in you or if you are already well on your way to running a business, WizOf.Biz can help. It is an affordable online consulting and advice platform for businesses, startups and enterpreneurs. Our advisors are here to make suggestions on all your business content and put you on the path to success. Don’t wait, check out today!


Make Business Success Your Resolution For 2013!

Happy New Year 

The year 2013 will bring about another slew of New Year resolutions. Many of us will focus on dropping the extra pounds we’d resolved to shed the year before. Others will make a conscious decision to spend more time with loved ones and more than a few of us will turn to improving marketing and business strategies as their number one resolution for the coming year. Here are some suggestions.

1) Resolve to Focus – Determine who your target audiences are. Look at their age group, occupation and social standing.Decide why this demographic is relevant to your business and go to where your specific market can be found.

2) Be Different – Your number two resolution is to dare yourself to be outrageously funny, phenomenally ingenious and intriguingly clever. Think outside the box to get the attention of those who understand and care about what you have to say. The other day I saw a series of gimmicky videos for a company that sold blenders. Their marketing ploy included blending random objects that are otherwise un-blendable such as iPhones, glowsticks and computers. Crazy right? Yes, but they stood out and that made all the difference..

3) Stay True To Who You Are – Just because you’re running a business does not mean that it has to run you. Make sure that your entrepreneurial self is directly reflective of who you are in everyday life.Communicate with others in a consistent, down to earth way. Inject some humor in everything you do and don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Align all of your marketing efforts with your own unique characteristics, then lead potential clients to elements of your business that point to the big picture.

4) Network – Make 2013, the year that you become part of the conversation, shmooze, exchange ideas. Make every lead an opportunity to connect and tell others what you do. Impress people by asking questions, giving answers and offering suggestions. Build business relationships that help you tap deeper into your market.

5) Learn & Discover – Seek out new opportunities to learn from others, participate in discussions and make discoveries about the way you run your business. Resolve to solicit client input. In the New Year,donate your time to other businesses that operate in the same general field. .

6) Create Content – Act interested. Strive to keep curious about your topic or idea. Work on showing others that you care about them and your cause. Make what you share with people funny and their needs. Perhaps they too, have a New Year resolution that you can help them achieve. Tell your story; hell, a smidget of public ridicule never hurt anyone.

7) Take Risks – Be unconventional, intriguing and yes even wacky. Remember people love to see extraordinary things happen before them. Keep in mind that normal is boring and no one cares about anything normal at all.So look to wow the pants off of others.

8) Make That Dough – Enjoy what you do. Remain friendly and optimistic throughout. SHake hands, smile and offer to be there when it counts. If you do that, the dough will come rolling in when you least expect it.

I hope this gets you well on your way to success. In the meantime, stay insightful, innovate and prosper in 2013!

Image via *Sally M* Creative Commons 

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12 Days of Business: Top Notch Twitter Leads: News Sites That Do Content Well

AMB-354 Christmas numbers 13Did you miss out on some of our best business posts in 2013? Don’t fret; In the holiday spirit, we’ve decided  to share with you, the top twelve posts that we feel will help you achieve optimal entrepreneurial success in the coming year!

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year!

The WizOf.Biz team. 

Top Notch Twitter Leads: News Sites That Do Content Well

Two blue birds with FAQ balloonsWhen it comes to making the right business connections on Twitter, it can be difficult to know who to follow. That is why I think, this exciting new series of posts will help you navigate the Twittersphere with more ease. I will provide access to weekly lists of news sites, business companies, and entrepreneurs who have made an impact on their industry.

The purpose of these posts is to help you connect with today’s most sought after business leaders,content developers and innovators.These are people who are there to share their inspiring ideas, network and built  active communities. I truly believe that these posts will assist you when making informed decisions and help encourage conversations.

I will focus my first entry on organizations and news sites that give us quality content. They cover amazing stories on entrepreneurship,business leadership, technology, mentorship and innovation. I invite you to follow these news sites for thought provoking business content that will challenge your mind.  

There you have it. Use these resources to stay engaged and keep the conversations going, In the coming weeks I will be posting more great lists of business companies, leaders and forward thinkers you can learn from. So I’ll see you back here next week. In the meantime, keep the wheels turning and good luck!