5 Ways to Get Business Funding
September 9, 2016
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business-funding

If you are an entrepreneur you may know the struggle. Finding money to support your business funding is not easy, but there are ways of getting exactly what you need by simply asking the right people and organisations. Below you will discover the five most effective funding methods that will help you keep your business strong and successful over time.

1) Start-Up Loans

If you have just recently launched your business and been trading for less than two years, you may want to check the options offered by the government, which usually provides generous Start-Up Loans up to £25,000. You can verify your eligibility to these types of unsecured personal loans on the following link: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/affiliates/

2) Cash advances

If you fancy getting an interesting amount of cash, you could try companies such as Worldpay, Business Cash Advance and Credit for Merchants, which enable small organisations to obtain cash upfront before invoices and debts have been paid for. The way it all works is quite simple. The financier buys a percentage of your future credit or debit card at a discounted price and then deposits the money into your bank account after a couple of weeks. All repayments are obviously scheduled in advance, as everything is agreed on beforehand, and shift between 10%-20% of every transaction. This technique allows you to quickly gather up to £100,000, without having to stress out about monthly or fixed repayments. It is usually possible to obtain cash advances if your business has been around for minimum one year and if it earns up to £3000 per month.

3) Crowdfunding

This could be a fantastic solution if you are trying to raise money for your business. People from a particular geographical area or even from all over the world join their efforts by donating an X amount of money on crowdfunding websites, which are designed to collect money for ideas, ventures, charities or businesses in need. All donors or investors on crowdfunding websites are usually individuals donating their own money through small donations. Popular crowdfunding websites, where you can set up an attractive campaign and engage donors, are Kickstarter and Crowdcube.

4) Peer-to-Peer Loans

Funding Circle is among one of the most used peer-to-peer exchange sites, which gives you the opportunity to interact with private donors, enabling you over time to create a relationship based on trust and professionalism with them. There are numerous and important companies on these sorts of websites which are always willing to donate their money for good causes and to extremely ambitious entrepreneurs.

5) Family or friend loans

This might be the easiest option to take into consideration if you urgently need money. If you are lucky enough to know someone in your family or among your group of close friends who owns a consistent sum of cash and who is generous enough to support your entrepreneurial plans, then this might represent the perfect funding solution for you. The benefits are numerous: first of all, borrowing some money from someone who knows you really well will not cause any trust issues; secondly, friends and relatives will probably ask you for lower interests than external organisations.

There are certainly other effective ways of getting funds in order to keep your business alive and strong but these are the most recommendable options, especially for those of you who do not wish to go down to the bank loans road.

Setting up a Business
setting up a business

I launched my business in 2013 - probably more by luck than by design, in the first instance. Having had a 5½ year break from my marketing career to raise my family, the time was right for me to return to work; but in what form?

Simply going back to becoming someone else’s full time employee did not appeal, as with young children and a (supportive) husband with a busy, demanding job I needed the flexibility to work around the needs of my family.

I had been informally helping a friend with the marketing of her business and one day I just decided to brand this venture, launch a website and see what happened with setting up a business. So here are some things I’ve learned along the way, that are perhaps worth sharing if you are about to venture along the same path:

1. Seek out and create your own opportunities – you never know, a comment made in passing might just turn into your next big opportunity leading to success
2. Be friendly, honest and consistent – reputations take months and years to build yet can crumble in minutes, so treat others as you would like to be treated
3. Stick to your own area of expertise and become really terrific at it. People often confuse what I do - marketing - with PR, with website development, with sales or with design. Each one of these is a specialism in itself and whilst none of them are my area of expertise I have a very good network of people who do work in these disciplines and who I am happy to recommend
4. Which brings me to my next suggestion– network. Make new professional friends beyond your own specialism, both to extend your reach and influence and because being friendly is a nice act of human kindness, you never know when you might need one
5. Surround yourself with a trusted support network – setting up a business can be daunting and lonely, but if you have friends and associates to help and advise it make it so much more fun!

And here I am, nearly two years on, with my biggest client yet - the unique, iconic and this year record-breaking Royal Highland Show – where I lead and delivered on the show’s marketing; everything from developing the marketing strategy, to leading a multi-disciplinary team of agencies, to co-producing the show’s first foray into live streaming…and everything in between. So go on, take the plunge!

Cate Nelson-Shaw
[email protected]
@YellowBookCnslt

It’s never too late to start a business
start a business

In these years of economic crisis it has become increasingly difficult to find a stable employment. Times are changing and obtaining a job in any field is getting year by year more competitive. However, it's never too late to start a business.

Finding a job is not only hard for younger generations, but also people who are over 50 years old struggle to get hired, or to simply get an interview. According to recent statistics, in the US and in Europe women over 50 appear to be the ones fighting the most in order to continue their careers or being hired.

Employers, in fact, seem to be mostly interested in wanting as part of their business young professionals in their 20s or early 30s. It must be considered, however, that also professionals above their 50’s, with years of remarkable work experience, are a valuable asset for companies and still have solid possibilities to develop a successful career in their field of expertise.

Among the qualities that employers seek for in a potential worker are: reliability, high professionalism, seriousness, deep knowledge and competence. These are all characteristics that middle-aged job hunters often have, thanks to their priceless years of work experience. In other words, an employer might be much more willing to hire mature women presenting extensive resumes and highly valuable sets of excellent skills, rather than recent graduates with strong ambitions, but with just a few internships and histories of short-term employments.
It is important to also remember that, applying to companies and different institutions, is not the only way to conquer a lucrative job. Middle-aged and unemployed women should always take into great consideration all the incredible skills that they have gained during their various life and work experiences, which make them absolutely special, valuable and unique.

If working for a company is not want you are looking for or dreaming of, then you should always keep in mind that with just a bit of creativity you can be your own manager and create an incredibly profitable job yourself. Just take a moment to list all the precious things that you know how to do.

Are you a great accountant, designer, marketer, photographer, financial analyst, therapist, consultant or have an incredible flair for anything related to arts? This is then what you should focus on. Take that brilliant skill of yours, make a rational plan of how you could exploit it in order to make a living, and start your own career!

It might seem strange to read these words, but think about it seriously. Freelance is a fantastic solution and many middle aged women worldwide have embraced this path obtaining outstanding results.

To find out more about how to become a freelancer, read the following article published by The Guardian.

Clarissa Lulli

Sign up at Opus Matrix to start a business today!

What Opus Matrix can offer you as an aspiring female entrepreneur?
female entrepreneur

Opus Matrix is a place where females are valued and respected for their skills, services and interests. It may be a silly thought to think of sewing or child minding as your best skills but where there is a skill - there is always a demand for it somewhere. An aspiring female entrepreneur can grow their business and sell their skills.

Opus Matrix is a place where you can try out your often forgotten or unrecognised skills gained by experience to mentor others and in return gain endorsements. A place where you can easily identify and communicate with people with the skills you need to move forward. Aspiring and established entrepreneurs can hugely prosper on this site.

There are also lots of mums out there who are wondering how to make the transition back to work after being off on maternity. Some will be looking for new opportunities that fits in well with childcare demands and costs. Many will often see becoming a mum as the perfect opportunity to break away from the corporate world and start down the path of self-employment.

Starting a business doesn't necessarily have to involve big financial commitments or set working hours. As your own boss, you can decide how much time to spend and focus on the small milestones initially. Your small venture could be part of a wider plan to expand once the kids have got to school.

A simple way to get started is to focus on what you are good at and learn how these skills can be utilised by others on a freelance basis.

Sign up here

The OM Team

Business Plus Membership Benefits
Business Plus
Opus Matrix (OM) is a fast growing global network specifically aimed at helping women skillshare to start ,develop and grow their business

OM is all about getting women employment.

We advocate skill sharing as a great, often inexpensive way to get started to enjoy the membership benefits.

Try out your skills and get yourself some potential clients through creating a profile with your up to date details.

Get your skills or services 'out there' by signing up as a Business Plus member and get yourself promoted to our huge and daily growing network. As a Business Plus member, you will get all the benefits listed below and with 3 months free on annual membership for a limited time only, there's no better time than now. You could reach a potential audience of 12 Million per annum.

Featured regularly on Home Page
Regular Shout outs
Your tweets embedded on Opus Matrix for maximum exposure
Sell from your own 'keep all you earn' shop
Get target specific social media marketing to your chosen buyers
One year's free web hosting RRP £80
Double promotion to 8 million per annum
A business profile - showcase your Services and Products
PLUS+
A personal profile to showcase your skills, expertise, products or services
Feature in our business directory
Find Potential business partners with specific skills through Skillshare
Connect with others, view profiles, message and Skype
Gain exclusive additional access to jobs with wow-a2z business members
Access/respond to crowdsourcing projects and prosper by working with others
Post projects and events and make the most of our networks
Post 10 jobs per year and get exclusive addional access to jobs with wow-a2z business members
Find jobs, working partnerships and opportunities locally, nationally and internationally
Fnd self-employment advice and tips to support you with your business venture
Gain automatic entry to the Hall of Fame and compete for the quarterly giveaway
Read and post blogs and to forums from us and our members
'Meet the Experts' to get valuable information, support and advice on particular topics and receive their special discounts
Add your Testimonials
Annual Members - Special Offers Only

The OM Team

Be Active in Our Online Community to Win £100 Amazon Voucher
£100 amazon voucher

Winner will be announced 31st December 2015

As a member of Opus Matrix, you have the opportunity to boost your online presence and get seen by a larger audience. Firstly ensure your profile is up to date with a recent profile photo and description of your skills or services. Next, connect with other entrepreneurs and startups in the online community. Then, post blogs, offers, events and projects and you could win points.

The member with the most points by the end of the year will go top of the Hall of Fame and will win a £100 Amazon voucher.

If you haven't already, sign up now to be in with a chance!

The OM Team

 

Going back to work after having children
going back to work after having children

The day I was finishing work to start my Maternity Leave my employer went into administration; and so began the 5½ years I spent first with my eldest (now 7) and then with my youngest too (now 5). These years were a mix of pure bliss and as well as utter despair and although I wouldn’t swap them for the world, in terms of CPD, possibly not the best.

“Parents - women particularly, but not exclusively, there are plenty of dads also in this situation - face all kinds of hurdles when it comes to returning to work” says Janet Unsworth, Non Executive Director of www.scottishchanginthechemistry.co.uk, an organisation that seeks to increase board diversity. “They may lack self confidence, might have problems finding childcare, perceive they have nothing to offer, might be afraid their skills are out of date, that their requirement for flexibility makes them less attractive to a potential employer, they may be lone parents, or perhaps their partner isn’t very supportive. It can be a real challenge sometimes quite demoralising”.

However, with some positive thinking and a bit of creativity, there are strategies for success if you are planning a return to work. So, here are a few suggestions:

  • consider volunteering – either at grass roots level or by joining a committee, an advisory group to a board or a board itself as Non Executive Director – goodmoves.org.uk is a good place to start
  • explore the possibility of Returnships with potential employers
  • understand where you might need to upskill and seek out workshops, courses, distance learning and funding opportunities to help you achieve these, for example skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk
  • reinvigorate your old network – I had some professional correspondence cards made, hand wrote a personal note and sent them to a selection of contacts I wanted to reconnect with
  • seek out introductions from friends and contacts to other professionals in your field
  • seek out networking groups – of which there are many – for new contacts and support. It might take a few attendances to find the right ones for you but once you do, they can be invaluable
  • undertake appropriate follow ups with people you meet: connect with them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter not on your Facebook page (professional contacts do not need to see your dinner!). And make sure you have a terrific profile and a decent professional photo, no selfies or holiday snaps
  • invite them for a coffee to explore mutually beneficial ways of working
  • be prepared to give something for nothing in the hope and expectation that the same professional courtesy will one day be extended to you
  • be brave and go for it!

And if all this just sounds too scary to even contemplate, remember you are not the first person to return to work after time spent looking after children and your conversational repertoire can and does extend beyond the emotional wellbeing of your offspring and their associated needs – so go on, take the plunge, you’ll be fabulous!

Cate Nelson-Shaw

[email protected]

Twitter: @YellowBookCnslt

A week goes so fast….on Opus Matrix
October 10, 2015
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3 months free

It's been one week since Opus Matrix launched already and it's great to see some activity on the site with new members connecting and discovering the benefits of collaboration on a global scale.

A week can go so quickly when you are busy, especially if you are working your socks off to get your business idea moving forward. There's always so much that we have to do that it is tempting to say it's not possible or that you'll come back to it at some point. However, it's important to stay focused and remind ourselves how little time we have. Otherwise, nothing will get done.

“You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to….. everyone.”

We only have the same amount of time as any entrepreneur or creative genius. Everyone has little things that get in the way of executing your plans from childcare to shopping trips.

For those who find themselves stuck in jobs they hate, it's worth spending time on planning your way out or even simply quitting as every minute you spend is effectively wasted if it is not what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.

If you haven’t already, take advantage of our Autumn offer and get 15 months for the price of 12 on all membership levels. Read more here.

The OM Team
Collaborate and create work together
July 30, 2015
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skills

When I had a business idea, I knew that initially, I didn’t have the skills I needed to do it myself.

As a means of achieving what I needed, I found others with the skills that were necessary to get started; eventually I would learn enough to make my own contribution and collaborate. What I have found so amazing, is how much more can be achieved by 2 people vs 1, and by 3 people vs 2.

Now I strongly believe that working interdependently and collaboratively, success is collective and as we all do well, everyone benefits from this arrangement. This is THE way forward and the advantages are many:

Read more

Starting up at 50 plus
startup

It’s a well known fact that in 2015 ageism in the workplace is rife and, unfortunately, is set to stay for the foreseeable future.

We have been particularly hard-hit by this recession. Back in 2008, statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 28% of those aged between 50 and State Pension age were out of work, compared with only 20% of those aged less than 50 years of age. Fast forward to 2015, and the figure has risen dramatically with the unemployment rate for over 50’s standing at a staggering 47.2%.

Furthermore, the ONS shows that those who lose their job aged 50 or over, have only a 10% chance of ever being re-employed.

Amongst many others, these 2 factors has meant that many women like you and me in our 50’s and older have, out of necessity, to show a significant interest in entrepreneurship. This has been borne out by a recent PRIME Report which shows that half the Self-Employed population is over 50.

All this may seem very negative, but there are many positive factors to being over 50 in this day and age which can act in our favour. We are no longer under absolute male domination. Besides, we are more financially independent than we have ever been. If we are fortunate enough not to live in countries where the State religion limits our actions as women, then frankly the world is our oyster.

It is also a well known fact that businesses started by people over 50, have a 70% chance of surviving their first five years, compared with only a 28% survival rate for those below 50.

Don’t believe it? Well, check out some fifty something success stories

Arianna Huffington started The Huffington Post at 54; Patti Lee-Hoffmann and Gayle Mills were approaching their 50th birthdays when inspiration struck for Flutter Eyewear.

Across the U.K, U.S.A. and Canada alone, with an estimated population of 150 million women over 50 facing the same issues, having access to the internet, we don’t have to go it alone. The internet has allowed us the ability to connect with one another via websites like opusmatrix.com.

I started opusmatrix.com to allow women, especially those just like me, to connect with one another, to share our skills and experience and not have to make it on our own. Opusmatrix.com facilitates SKILLSHARE, allowing its members to barter or sell their skills, and in so doing, generate work and income for themselves. Opusmatrix.com allows for the creation of work opportunities globally - an opportunity which might not otherwise have been possible had we been working on our own. Opusmatrix.com is here to provide a supportive network for us all to grow our businesses, without the sharp elbows!

If like me, you’ve reached your 50’s but are still keen to follow that dream, then Opus Matrix is the platform from which to reach out. We’re no longer bound to the kitchen or the housework and a generation of feisty women, who have reached heights which would have been unimaginable for us women 100 years ago, has gone before us. Many others have set new standards of achievement for women showing us just what is possible for us today.

Believe it or not, being pushed out of the employment door, may prove  to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Come on. Quit making excuses!

Join us and get your first 3 months FREE

Debbie Davis,