3 tips for acquiring first-year startup capital

According to the article “3 Capital Acquisition Tips for First-Year Businesses” by contributor Ryan Kh on www.tgdaily.com, with some businesses needing hundreds of thousands of dollars just to open their doors, you have to be wise on what you spend. As such, Kh offers three tips on acquiring first-year startup capital:

  • Buy only what you need. Before buying anything, make a list of items and equipment that you only absolutely need. If you start splurging on unessential items, you could end up tens of thousands of dollars more in debt. Wait until you are able to grow to buy these items.
  • Find the right financing plan for you. If you don’t have your own capital to invest in the business, you can either take out a loan or sell equity. Whichever option you choose, make sure it’s the cheapest route in the long run for you. Just remember that selling equity limits your long-term profitability because you must share your revenue with those who have purchased parts of your equity. Before taking out a loan, however, Kh says to not only check on interest rates and lending terms but to also consider these points:
    • Check a financing option’s APR because many are high. For instance, don’t finance through a credit card. The interest rates are nearly 20 percent.
    • Check on a lender’s flexibility: must you pay monthly or can you pay quarterly?
    • Be sure to understand the penalties for late payments.
  • Do your research before buying used equipment. While buying used equipment can certainly be cheaper than buying new, be sure to investigate the equipment thoroughly as well as your industry’s latest trends and expectations. If the equipment is too obsolete, you may end up needing to purchase new equipment in the future anyway or spending more money on maintenance and repairs than you would if buying new.

Read the full article here.

How to create a social media policy

According to the article “Tips for creating a company social media policy” by contributor Robert Stewart on www.businessreport.com, some companies that may have policies in place for advertisements, communications or even employee behavior have no set standards for social media until that “standard” is compromised. As such, Stewart states, companies should outline a specific set of rules governing social media practices, and he shares tips from Christina Stephens, owner of Stephens PR and a board member of the Baton Rouge Social Media Association, on how to create a social media policy:

  • Determine your company’s voice. The tone of your social media should reflect your brand. If you have a more upbeat and cheerful brand, then you can get away with having some fun with your social media posts. Conversely, if your business tone is more serious, so should your posts be. Also remember who your audience is and ask yourself what they would want to hear. Your posts should be balanced between industry and company news, including employee achievements.
  • Determine which platforms to use. Don’t just assume you need to be on every social media platform out there. Each one serves a different purpose. For instance, Instagram is more image-driven whereas Twitter is more information-driven. In the end, all you may need is a Facebook or a LinkedIn page. Determine which platform(s) best suits your business.
  • Don’t restrict employees’ personal social media too much. Be clear with employees that while they should be allowed to post the occasional picture of them enjoying a drink, it is absolutely not acceptable for them to complain about work or bash other employees on their social media accounts (assuming you have allowed them to list their place of work on social media). However, they should be allowed to express excitement over finishing an important work project. Essentially, you just don’t want to create any inter-office feuds or possible problems with clients.
  • Let employees help create the policy. Meet with your employees to talk through the social media policy to make sure everyone understands it and can give feedback. Be especially thorough with younger employees who have grown up with social media so that they understand how far they can go and not feel restricted.

Read the original article here.