Category: Startup Tips

September 3, 2015 11 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses – Part 2

Thanks for joining us for part 2 of this 2-part series. (5 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses) Let’s continue with the last 6 private grants for women-owned businesses.

6 More Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

  1. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Google has partnered up with Chase to create private grants for women-owned businesses. Together, they award winners with $3 million in small business grants. In 2014, grant winners received $150,000 each to help expand their small businesses. The lucky winners also received:
    • $2,000 coupons to help with Google Consumer Surveys market research studies
    • Google Chromebook laptops
    • Trips to the Google headquarters
  2. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): This program, which is award-based, includes a partnership between 11 different federal government agencies. The program helps small businesses owned by women explore the potential of their technological products and services.
  3. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): This program focuses on federal research. It’s in place to help fund development in order to provide women-owned businesses with funding opportunities specifically for research and development.
  4. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition: This grant is organized by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and Capitol One. For this competition, you’ll have to present a 2-minute pitch to judges. You’ll be competing for the chance to take part in a 9-month business accelerator program.
  5. Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): Yes, Wal-Mart offers private grants for women-owned businesses. These grants are for both US-based businesses and international companies. The small business funding opportunities are part of a very big Wal-Mart initiative. Over the next five years, awards will increase to $40 billion.
  6. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money: Is your woman-owned business based within the state of Utah? Then, this may be the small business grant for you. Awards of $3,000 each are given out each year, across six different categories, with business being one of them.
Check out these 6 private small business grants for women-owned businesses.
Check out these 6 private small business grants for women-owned businesses.
Image Source: Edu-Schools

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The EntreMarketing Group will help you build your business brand so that your award money doesn’t go to waste. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about helping you grow your woman-owned business into a brand your target market knows and trusts.

September 2, 2015 11 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses – Part 1

Looking for private grants for women-owned businesses to help you launch your start-up or grow your company? Well, The EntreMarketing Group is here to help. In this 2-part series, we’ll explore 11 different small business grants specifically designed for companies with female ownership.

5 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

Here are the first five on this week’s list of 11 private grants for women-owned businesses. Check them out:

Check out these private grants for women-owned businesses in the US.
Check out these private grants for women-owned businesses in the US.
Image Source: Tommy Toy
  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Each year, five grants are awarded to businesses that are 100% women-owned. The principles behind the company must include innovation, sustainability and social consciousness.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: Dedicated to the development and advancement of innovative products related to motherhood. Award winners receive grants of up to $15,000 and resources to help them advance product development and small business startups.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Award winners share $75,000 in grants. Applicants share their visions, which are judged by votes from the general public to become finalists. This small business grant allows you to promote your business as you compete for votes.
  4. Idea Café Small Business Grant: This is a freeway online gateway that gives you access to various small business grants all hosted on one website. Currently, it’s promoting the 16th Small Business Cash Grant. The grand prize is $1,000, which will be awarded to the woman-owned business with the most innovative idea.
  5. InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge: This is one of the private grants for women-owned businesses sponsored by the SBA (Small Business Administration) Office of Women’s Ownership. In the end, three awards of $30,000 each in prize money will be given to the three businesses that make major impacts on the lives of women.

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The EntreMarketing Group will help you build your business brand so that your award money doesn’t go to waste. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about helping you grow your woman-owned business into a brand your target market knows and trusts.

Next, We Explore 6 More Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

August 18, 2015 3 Startup Businesses You Can Launch for Under $1,000

Dreaming about starting your own business? Not sure you’ll have enough funds to make it a success once you launch it? Well, we know of three different startup businesses you can launch for under $1,000.

3 Business Ideas to Launch for Under $1,000

1. Buy Into a Franchise

You can easily start your own businesses by simply buying into a franchise. Many of them that fall into the “work from home” category, only require initial investments of just $1,000. That’s because there are very little overhead costs.

Housesitting is one of the business startups you can launch for under $1,000.
Housesitting is one of the business startups you can launch for under $1,000.
Image Source: flickr

Some low-cost franchise start-up ideas include:

  • House Sitting
  • Pet Care/Sitting
  • Clearing Mailboxes
  • Plant Care
  • Furnace Checks
  • Cleaning Services
    • For Homes
    • For Commercial Buildings
    • For Government Buildings
  • Computer Repairs
  • Data Recovery

2.Start a Consultant Business

Are you savvy in industries such as these?

  • Accounting
  • Art Collections
  • Taxes
  • History
  • Start-Up Businesses
  • Computers
    • Programming
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Troubleshooting
  • Writing
    • Books
    • Memos
    • Reports
    • Proposals
    • Newsletters
    • Articles

3. Money Manager

Do you have a knack for organizing financial paperwork or paying bills. Is dealing with insurance claims and medical bills right up your alley? Then, why not get certified by the The American Association of Daily Money Managers? This will help you start a money management business you can launch for under $1,000.

Some of the tasks you can perform with your own money management business include:

  • Keeping Records
  • Setting Up Budgets
  • Navigating Bills

Start Your Own Business Today for Under $1,000

The bottom line is, there are numerous businesses you can launch for under $1,000. From all of the ones named above, to whatever you’ve been dreaming of in your mind, you too can own your own business with reasonable startup funds.

What’s the key to finding the right startup for you? Simply research the industries and ideas that come to mind. You’d be surprised just how many you can launch for under $1,000 these days.

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August 17, 2015 4 Tips for Launching Your Startup with Just $100

Thinking about launching your startup, but a bit low on cash? Well, traveler, writer and entrepreneur, Chris Guillebeau, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. Forbes Contributor Dan Schawbel interviewed Chris. When he asked the entrepreneur to share a story from the book about an entrepreneur who used $0 to invest in and create a successful business, Chris responded:

“Most people spent *some* amount of money, even if it was just the cost of a $50 business license or a $10 domain name. But far more important than money was the investment of sweat equity — taking the time to make something meaningful. Brett Kelly wrote Evernote Essentials, a guide to the free Evernote software. His initial goal was that it would make $10,000 over the course of a year. One year later, it had made more than $100,000. Initial startup costs were essentially zero.”

Launching Your Startup: LAUNCH Festival 2015 Startup Pitching Competition
Launching Your Startup
LAUNCH Festival 2015 Startup Pitching Competition
Image Source: flickr

4 Tips from Chris Guillebeau on Launching Your Startup with $100 or Less

Here are four tips for you to follow if you’re interested in launching your startup with very little to no investment funds:

  1. Come up with a specific business idea. What service or product are you offering? Who will buy it? How will you get paid for it?
  2. Get started now. Stop putting off launching your startup. Give yourself a short amount of time to launch it… say about 30 days or less. Do whatever you have to do to meet that deadline. And, be sure to get a free PayPal for payment processing and design a free website through WordPress.com.
  3. Spread the word to everyone you know. For the record, we do not advise that you start spamming people. Instead, contact all of your friends and family members, and let them know that you’re launching a new startup, what it’s all about, and how it can bring value to their lives.
  4. Continue to improve your idea. Pay close attention to the initial feedback you get about your venture. Then, stay committed to making it better and better. Each day, make it a point to identify 1 or 2 things you can do to further your project’s development.

Ready to start launching your startup? Have you already launched it and are now ready take it to the next level? The EntreMarketing Group helps small business owners build successful brands and grow successful businesses online. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about scheduling a free small business branding consultation today.

July 6, 2015 Entrepreneurial Tips: How to Name Your Small Business Properly

What’s in a name? Shakespeare made this phrase famous in his popular Romeo and Juliet play. Today, entrepreneurs find themselves asking the same question when starting their own businesses. Choosing the right name can mean the different between being the talk of your industry and a dooming failure. Today, we discuss how to name your small business in order to capture the attention of your target market.

Tips to Name Your Small Business Effectively

Entreprenurial Tips: Learn how to name your small business properly and effectively.
Learn how to name your small business properly and effectively.

Ideally, you want to choose a name for your company which:

  • Expresses your brand’s expertise
  • Conveys the value of your service of product

Here are some of the various tips various small business experts share when it comes naming your company:

  • Your small business name should be abstract
  • The name your choose should be informative
  • Business names should be coined from made-up words
  • Small business names should be unforgettable

With so many different types of advice, who do you listen to these days? Well, any name can have the desired effect, as long as it’s backed up by a good marketing strategy.

What’s in a Small Business Name?

First of all, you need to decide what you want to communicate to your target market with your small business name. It should highlight your company’s key elements. Also, make sure when you name your small business, it reflects the company’s mission statement.

Consider these five tips when choosing to name your small business effectively:

  1. Choose a name that captures the attention of your target customers.
  2. Make sure the name is familiar, or raises positive memories in the minds of your customers.
  3. Don’t choose a name for your small business that’s too confusing or too long.
  4. If your company name includes a cute little pun, make sure you’re not the only one who “gets” it.
  5. Never end your company name with “Inc.”, “Incorporated” or “Corporation” unless it’s actually incorporated.

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Once you’ve chosen a name for your small business, start marketing it online immediately. Choosing to name your small business properly is the first step to a successful venture. Marketing it properly is the key to success.

June 2, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: How to Apply for Your EIN

Building Corporate Credit Using Your Business Credit Identity

 Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Separate Your Business Structure from Your Personal Identity

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Building corporate credit the right way involves never merging it with your personal credit profile in any way. That means using a Federal Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN or Tax ID Number, instead of your social security number to apply for business credit. In this part of our DIY Corporate Credit Series, we walk you through how to apply for your EIN.

What is an EIN? It’s essentially a social security number for your business, company, corporation, organization, etc… When applying for business credit, it’s always wiser to use an EIN instead of your social security number. It ensures that your corporate credit and personal credit profiles remain completely separate from each other.

Click here to learn why this is so important.

Use IRS Form SS-4 to Apply for Your EIN online, by mail or by fax.
Use IRS Form SS-4 to Apply for Your EIN online, by mail or by fax.

3 Options to Apply for Your EIN to Obtain Business Credit

All Federal Employer Identification Numbers must be obtained from IRS, even if you hire an agency to help. In most cases, you can apply for your EIN on your own, and obtain it the very same day. Here are the general options for getting a new EIN from the IRS without the help of a 3rd party:

  1. Obtain EIN by Fax – Download the IRS Form SS-4. Print it out, complete it and fax it to the IRS for processing: 859-669-5987 (See form to verify current fax number.)
  2. Obtain EIN by Mail – Download the IRS Form SS-4. Print it out, complete it and mail it to the IRS for processing using the address on the form.
  3. Apply for EIN Online – Click here to apply for your EIN online. In most cases, you can receive your new Tax ID Number in a matter of minutes.

Need other options or assistance related to a new, old, misplaced or unneeded Tax ID Number?

No matter what phase your small business is in these days, you still need online marketing to get the word out about your products and services. The EntreMarketing Group helps new startups go viral online with responsive websites, content marketing and social media marketing tools. Contact The EntreMarketing Group for a free small business marketing consultation today.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Verify Your Business Entity Information

May 29, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Establishing Corporate Credit Under the Right Business Structure – Part 2

Read Part 1 of ‘DIY Corporate Credit Series: Establishing Corporate Credit Under the Right Business Structure’

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2. Business Structure: S Corporations

An S Corporation is much like that of a C Corporation. The IRS considers it to be a separate entity from its owner(s). However, it comes with limited liability protection, as you’re not necessarily protected from various types of litigations. One example of this is tort actions taken against the company for workplace incidents.

Also, with an S Corp, the business itself is not taxed. Instead, some profits and loses will actually be filed through your personal federal tax return. Yet, as a shareholder, if you actually work for the S Corp, you’re allowed to pay yourself “reasonable compensation.” If all shareholders who put in work for the business aren’t compensated with fair market value, some corporate earnings may be reclassified as “wages” by the IRS.

Click here to learn more about S Corporations.

3. Business Structure: Limited Liability Company

Be sure to choose the best business structure for your company before you start establishing corporate credit.
Be sure to choose the best business structure for your company before you start establishing corporate credit.
Image Source: How To Start A Cleaning Business

A limited liability company, also known by simply LLC, combines some of the features of both corporations and partnerships. With an LLC, each “owner” is referred to as a “member.” Some states allow a single member to own an LLC, while others require two or more individual members, other LLCs or corporations.

Unlike corporations, Limited Liability Companies are not taxed as separate entities. Instead, the profits and losses of the companies are “passed through” the LLC to each of its members. These profits and losses are reported on the personal federal tax returns of the LLC members, like that of a partnership.

Click here to learn more about Limited Liability Corporations.

4. Business Structure: Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit organizations are also referred to as 501(c)(3) organizations. IRS grants this business structure tax-exempt status. In most cases, donations made to the nonprofit organization by both individuals and other businesses are tax deductible for the donors. Operating and financial disclosures are very important for 501(c)(3) organizations in order to ensure the public that contributions are being used properly.

Income tax is not paid on donations and fundraising money earned by nonprofit organizations. In order to qualify for this tax-exempt status, the organization must benefit a specific purpose and provide benefits for the general public. Some of the most popular types of non-profits include schools, hospitals and churches.

Click here to learn more about Nonprofit Organizations.


Ready to get your start-up off the ground? The EntreMarketing Group will help you get the word out about your new start-up business. Make your new small business go viral with a customized small business marketing package from The EntreMarketing Group today.

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Click here to Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Separate Your Business Structure from Your Personal Identity

May 28, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Establishing Corporate Credit Under the Right Business Structure

Read Part 1 of ‘DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name for Establishing Corporate Credit’

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The only way to establish corporate credit the right way, is to keep it completely separate from your personal credit. That means establishing a numerical identifier for your business. No matter what business structure (or entity) you choose, it’s very important not to use your social security number as your business identifier. Instead, you need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) also known as a Tax ID number for your business from the IRS.

What is an EIN? Your Tax ID number is essentially a social security number for your business. It’s how IRS identifies one business from another. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, rent office space for your company, and even establish corporate credit. As a sole proprietor, you have the option of simply using your own social security number instead. But, this is very unwise as it’s always best to keep personal credit profiles completely separate from corporate credit profiles, no matter what business structure you use.

4 Types of Business Structure Options

You need to choose the right business structure for your company before you begin to establish corporate credit.
You need to choose the right business structure for your company before you begin to establish corporate credit. Image Source: WP Lawyers

Incorporating your business is the only way to make your business accountable for its own liabilities and debts. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are major risks for business owners. As a business owner, you will be held responsible for any liabilities and debts, including tax issues.

When you incorporate your company, it becomes its own entity. Any liabilities and debts accrued become the company’s responsibility, not your own. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about losing your family’s savings, home or other assets due to the failure or credit debts of the business. This also keeps all debts and credit liabilities off of your personal credit reports.

The four general types of incorporated business structure options: Corporation (C Corporation), S Corporation (S Corp), Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Nonprofit Organization or 501(c)(3):

1. Business Structure: Corporations

A C Corporation, or Corporation for short, is a shareholder-owned, independent legal business entity. Therefore, the shareholders are not liable for the debts and actions of the business. Instead, the corporation itself holds legal liability for its own debts and actions.

Corporations are more expensive to establish than other any other business entity. They also come with more expensive administrative fees and complex legal and tax requirements. Therefore, most experts agree that this business structure is generally for larger, established businesses with multiple employees.

Click here to learn more about C Corporations.

Tune in MONDAY when we continue this series with ‘DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name for Establishing Corporate Credit – Part 2’…


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May 27, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name for Establishing Corporate Credit – Part 2

Read Part 1 of ‘DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name’

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2. Claiming Your Company Name: Search Trademark Database

Make sure the business name you’ve chosen isn’t in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database. If the exact name of your company has been trademarked, this may become a major issue as you attempt to use the name to build your business brand.

DEAD trademarks are irrelevant. It’s the LIVE trademarks you need to worry about as you’re establishing business credit.

3. Claiming Your Company Name: Domain Name URL

Claiming your company with Superpages helps to establish your brand online for establishing corporate credit.
Claiming your company with Superpages helps to establish your brand online for establishing corporate credit.

It’s very important that you register your business name as a domain name as soon as possible. You can have more than one URL for your business, and you can set any one you own as the primary domain name. But, when establishing business credit, it’s important to have a URL that actually represents your company’s name.

Check Domain Name Availability Here

4. Claiming Your Company Name: Superpages Directory Listings

Make sure to register your company with the Superpages Business Directory. You can add your business for free, and it only takes a few minutes. Click the link below to search for your business online. If it is already listed, check it thoroughly to ensure that all of the information is accurate and current.

Click Here to Register with Superpages Online

Resolve Name Conflicts While Claiming Your Company Name

If you find conflicts while claiming your company name within any of the databases above, consider these three options:

  1. Change your business name. If it’s a brand new start-up (or the business hasn’t been established yet), this may be the best option for you.
  2. Use a different variation of the name. For example, “Entre Marketing Group” could be established as EntreMarketing Group.
  3. Create a DBA (Doing Business As) for the business name you like so much. For example, your company’s name might be “EntreMarketing Group” with a DBA of “The Entre Marketing Group.” So, even though your business operates under the latter, the first name will be the legal name used for establishing business credit.

DIY Corporate Credit Series: Read Establishing Corporate Credit Under the Right Business Structure

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Ready to get your start-up off the ground? The EntreMarketing Group will help you get the word out about your new start-up business.

Make your new small business go viral with a customized small business marketing package from The EntreMarketing Group today.

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May 26, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name for Establishing Corporate Credit

Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: How to Establish Business Credit on Your Own

When establishing business credit, your goal should be to build a corporate credit score of 75 or higher. Compared to personal credit, that’s like having a 750 FICO score. A business credit score of 80 is considered excellent credit. Claiming your company name is an important part of establishing credit for your business.

Getting corporate credit without credit is a catch-22 situation. Many lenders and vendors don’t want to extend credit to businesses with no credit history. But, once you get started, establishing business credit generally takes about 4-6 months if your vendors report to Dun & Bradstreet or other credit reporting agencies.

Establishing Business Credit: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name

Claim your business name before you begin establishing business credit.
Claim your business name before you begin establishing business credit.
Image Source: Business Finance 123

Ready to begin laying the building blocks needed to get your company’s credit file started? First, you need to ensure that your company’s name doesn’t conflict with another which already has established credit. This could come back to haunt you later if the name is already associated with a business many creditors consider to be a credit risk.

Claiming your company name is also an important part of building your brand. Follow the four steps below for claiming your company name to ensure that it’s not already associated with a credit-established business:

1. Claiming Your Company Name: Dunn & Bradstreet

Search the D&B database to see if another company with the same name has credit history. If you wait until you’ve already built your brand, you may find that another company with the same name has a high risk credit history or poor credit file. D&B allows you to conduct this search worldwide so there are no surprises later.

If you find that your business name is associated with a bad credit history, think about amending the name. Consider establishing business credit under another variation of that name, or another name altogether.

Ready to get your start-up off the ground? The EntreMarketing Group will help you get the word out about your new start-up business.Make your new small business go viral with a customized small business marketing package from The EntreMarketing Group today.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: 4 Steps to Claiming Your Company Name – Part 2