Business Financing Tips for Latino Business Owners

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Business Financing Tips|Business Financing Tips for Latino Business OwnersStarting and owning a business is growing into a much more popular way for people to make a living. While people of all backgrounds are starting businesses in the USA, no one is doing it more than Latino and Hispanic individuals, as they are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the entire country.

However, before you can start and run your business successfully, you need to have the money to finance it. Sure, when you visit Professional Hispano and other helpful resources, you can learn great tips and tricks for running a company, but it is important to know how you’re going to afford the many costs of running a business.

In an effort to help when it comes to the financing aspect of your business, this article is going to cover a few finance-related tips for Latino business owners.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Business Financing Tips|Business Financing Tips for Latino Business OwnersHave a Plan

The first and most important financing-related tip we can give is to make sure you have a plan. You need to take time to figure out just how much your business is going to cost to start up, and also what it will cost to run. This can take a lot of research on your part, but that is a necessary step in the process.

One of the best ways to come up with this plan is to think backwards. Start out by thinking about what you’d like your company to look like. From there, backtrack and cover all of the things you will need to have and pay for to reach that goal. For example, will you need office space? What about employees, computers and other equipment?

Whatever you need should be written down, along with the approximate cost so you have a good idea of what it will take to start the business. The last thing you want is to only secure $10,000 to get your business off the ground, when you actually needed $15,000.

Know the Options Available to You

Once you have a plan and know how much the starting and operating of your business will cost, it’s time to actually go out and get the funding you need. Thankfully, there are many options at your disposal as a Latino entrepreneur. You can opt for a standard business loan, a microloan from the U.S Small Business Administration or one of the variety of grants available from the government.

With some of these grants and loans, you will need to apply, so be sure you have a business plan in place and are confident in your numbers and projections. Some can be quite competitive, while others are easier to be approved for or given.

Of course, there is also the option to bootstrap your business and pay for everything out of pocket. This can be tough if the costs are high, but many entrepreneurs can bootstrap their venture if they decide to make sacrifices and work hard. This option can save you a lot in the grand scheme of things, as well.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Out Assistance

Figuring out the financing for your business can be an incredibly stressful and daunting experience. This is especially true for those who are new to the space. Thankfully, there are ways to get some help. There are many organizations, clubs and groups that you can reach out to such as SCORE, the U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Minority Business Development Agency and others.

Each can help you get guidance from real professionals in the space, who can point you in the right direction when it comes to financing. You can also simply speak to other Latino business owners in person or online and learn about their story.

Hearing from others who have been in your shoes can be very valuable. It can give you a better idea of the steps you should take when it comes to not only getting financed, but also operating your business as a whole.

While you might run the business alone and it’s success is 100% dependent on you, there are still many resources you can use to ensure you are making the right choices when it comes to financing.

The Best Financing Options For You

Financing a business as a Latino entrepreneur can be a difficult and potentially-stressful experience. But if you have a plan, know your options for securing financing and know how to ask for help, you are well on your way to being able to successfully finance your business.

Signs your business might qualify for R&D tax credits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |R&D Tax Credits|Signs your business might qualify for R&D tax creditsIt is common for businesses to think of research and development (R&D) to be something that is only carried out by specialist science labs and large corporations. And this can lead to them imagining that R&D tax credits are not something that could possibly apply to them. However, it is important to understand that these are misconceptions.

Businesses of all sizes can carry out R&D work – it is just a problem that many people don’t know what qualifies as R&D, or how they might go about making a claim. So here we take a closer look at R&D tax credits and examine some of the situations in which you might be able to claim them. It could be the case that you are missing out on a significant amount of tax relief for your current projects.

Here are some of the signs that your business might qualify for R&D tax relief.

You are an SME

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are sometimes the most likely to miss out of forms of tax relief, because they may lack the accounting expertise to make the most of them. However, the R&D tax relief scheme was specifically designed for SMEs – defined in this case as companies with fewer than 500 staff and a turnover of under €100m.

Larger companies can get tax relief on R&D activities too, but under the R&D expenditure credit banner. But it is just quite ironic that many SMEs don’t realise they can claim on the R&D tax scheme even though it is specifically designed for them.

You’re trying to solve a problem

Even though many assume that their company needs to be scientific or advanced, however, this is not the case. You do need to be looking for ways you can improve what you are doing, and experimenting and researching ways that you can do this. But these activities do not need to be limited to a specific area.

You can claim R&D tax credits across a wide variety of industries. If you create products then it likely that you will be engaging in work that falls under the category of R&D. This could involve creating new products, or improving existing products. It may be in the production process itself, or even in distribution.

As long as there is a problem, and you are trying to solve it – you may qualify for the R&D tax credit scheme.

You are looking to advance the field as a whole

To qualify for R&D tax credits it is important that your project is aiming to advanced knowledge in the field as a whole, rather than simply as a way to benefit your business alone. For example, it would not qualify for R&D tax credit if you were just utilising an existing technology for the first time in your industry.

If your advance can be used by others, then you may qualify for tax credits. This is because the government is intending to incentivise things that the general public can use.

You are doing work others can’t

Another factor in qualifying for R&D tax credits is in showing that the work that you have carried out is not something that can be easily achieved by others. There can be many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is in being able to show that others in your field have attempted to find a solution to the problem.

It is worth noting here that being successful is not a condition of receiving R&D tax credits – you only need to show that you have attempted to find a solution.

You can show that the problem is real

To be able to claim tax relief, it is important to be able to show that there is a problem or uncertainty that you are trying to deal with. You cannot get tax relief for simple exploratory work in the hope that some positive is developed. Additionally, it means that your business cannot already have knowledge of the solution to be able to claim tax relief for it.

If you know the problem that you are trying to solve and can show how it has encumbered others, this can be a strong sign that you can get tax relief for it.

3 Tips for Taking Your Small Business to the Next Level

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Small Business |3 Tips for Taking Your Small Business to the Next LevelSmall businesses today have a lot of obstacles that they need to be able to overcome. The world of business has always been ruthless and punishing to those that aren’t prepared for it. However, even the smallest of businesses have the potential to grow into titans, as long as they play the game correctly. Making the right moves isn’t easy, and even if you do everything right, it doesn’t mean you will necessarily achieve your goals.

However, there are a number of things you can do to give your business the best chance possible of surviving in the long term. Here are just some of the ways that you can take your business to the next level and ensure that you are able to keep growing it long into the future.

Have a Plan

When you first launch your business, you will hopefully have a business plan. This plan will lay out exactly what you plan to do with your business, as well as how it will operate in general. Business plans also contain lots of projections for the future.

As time goes on, you will learn whether those projections turn out to be accurate or not. You should update your business plan regularly and ensure that your plans for the future take into account everything that has come before.

Keep Your Expenses Down

Every business has expenses; they are often unavoidable and there’s not a lot you can do about them. However, while you will find it impossible to eliminate many of your expenses, there are plenty of things you can do to keep those expenses as low as you possibly can. Saving even small amounts of money can ultimately amount to some very considerable savings in the long run.

Any products or services that your business uses on a regular basis can potentially be targeted for savings. In some cases, making savings in key areas is associated with a dramatic boost to your overall efficiency. For example, switching to a different payment processor can reduce the cost of each transaction, a small increase on each transaction can be a significant boost over the year.

Make sure to check for online reviews of any processor you consider, stick to reviews that go into some detail about the processor you are considering. This review of BlueSnap by Merchant Maverick is a good example.

Put the Customer First

It doesn’t matter what your job is, what industry you work in or what your long-term goals are. You will have your best chance of success when you are putting special focus on the customer experience. In today’s world, customers always have other options; you need to make them choose your business because you are offering something that your competitors aren’t.

You don’t need a huge business with fully-staffed departments to improve your customer experience. You just need to make sure that you are getting the right feedback from your customers.

If you are at the helm of a small business, you will no doubt have your eyes set on higher goals. Learning to prioritize the right aspects of your business is the key to reaching those higher goals.

4 Ways to Make Your SME More Professional

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Professional Appearance | 4 Ways to Make Your SME More ProfessionalWhether you have a full-sized office and plethora of staff, or you’re still working from your bedroom and nothing more than a laptop, you want your business to look and feel as big as possible. Even if your social media marketing team is your tech-savvy niece and your warehouse manager is your spouse boxing up a product, there are still ways that you can make your business look and feel bigger than it is. If you’re looking to exude a more professional business persona, then here are some of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of adding that much-needed touch of professionalism to your SME.

Focus on the Digital

If you’re working from a small room, then your digital presence is going to be where you need to make the best first impression. Website design can get very complicated very quickly, so if you lack the skills, then it’s imperative that you source them. Whether that’s through friends or a professional will depend on your budget, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that a free template from WordPress of Wix is going to be enough.

While you may get a slick looking theme, you’ll be lumbered with a web address that ends with or

This is not a professional look. It’s also increasingly vital that you have a presence on social media, but don’t panic about registering with them all. Stick to the two that are most relevant for your brand and sector. Make sure that you know how to conduct yourself professionally online, and remember that your digital marketing will be reliant on your ability to create engaging content.

Payments and Paperwork

Efficiency is the key to appearing to be larger and more professional. No matter how small your business might be, make sure that you use free online estimate templates when potential customers need a pricing quote and use similarly themed invoice templates as well. Not only does this make you look more professional, but it also makes it much easier to keep your paperwork in order, and that can help to increase productivity and reduce workflow interruptions.

You should also make it a priority to ensure that all quotes and invoices are sent promptly and that your bills are paid quickly as well.

Word of mouth can damage a business of any size, and a poor history of not paying your suppliers on time will only hinder your ability to perform. Use software to manage your accounts more easily, and make sure that you have a constantly updated calendar to ensure that you know when bills are expected so that you’re not hit by the unexpected.

Improve your Address

If you’re using a home office, then you need to make sure that your business is not negatively affected. Residential business addresses might not be the deciding factor that makes or breaks your venture, but it can have an impact. Ideally, you want a more established address, and there are a variety of options available.

The rise of the managed office space has been very positive for SMEs, and even if you only use the space on occasion, many now allow you to use their premises as your business address.

This is not only better for you in terms of first impressions; it also means that you will have somewhere professional to meet with prospective customers or suppliers. The majority of managed offices are based in cities, meaning that you also get the benefit of a city center address without the expense of your own dedicated office rental.

Dress the Part

It’s not just about wearing a suit and tie (not every SME is going to need that), it’s about presenting your brand to the outside world so that you make the best first impression. While this is vital for your website, it also extends to peripheral elements as well. If you pull up to meet with a prospective client in a suit and tie but in a car that spills rubbish onto the road when you open the door, then you have forever lost the chance to make a good first impression.

Make sure that you focus on the details. Phone calls need to be answered politely and professionally, and you might even consider hiring a remote, virtual receptionist to make your business seem even larger.

The key to appearing more professional is to know what customers are looking for from you. However, get the basics right in terms of first impressions, and you will instantly seem a more dynamic and professional business.

Running an SME can be fraught with challenges and stress, but the people that your business interacts with should never feel that you are struggling. It’s all about having the foundations in place. Get your professionalism looking bigger, brighter, and more on brand than your competitors, and you stand a much better chance of attracting the profits that you need to thrive.