Category: Finances

Owning an Event Venue: 4 Tips to Get You Started

If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of owning an event venue, you can see why the concept sounds like a good idea. After all, who doesn’t want to be in the business of helping people celebrate their events? From weddings to conventions to author events, hosting excited people on their big day sounds like a blast.

However, there’s a lot more that goes into an event rental business than drinks and party favors! If you’re thinking about buying a space of your own, here are four tips you should know in advance.

1. Your Event Venue Location Matters

Before you plan out the details of your event rental business, it’s important to consider one thing: location, location, location.

Do your homework to find a place that’s both convenient to access and comfortable for guests; these details are what help you stand out from the crowd. In addition, make sure you’ve researched your target audience well enough to determine what they’re looking for and where they want it to be.

2. Plan Your Space With Care

After you’ve found the right location, take time to plan an event space that will provide everything you need while adding value for customers. This means providing sufficient room for large parties as well as storage.

In many cases, it may help to work with designers who can advise you on creating flexible spaces that can adapt to different needs. This might include strategies like including moveable partitions or modular furniture you can refigure whenever you want.

Don’t forget to consider your local building codes, fire marshal requirements, and more!

3. Consider Your Expenses Ahead of Time

With any small business, the number one factor that puts you at risk of premature closure is financial strain.

To avoid this, it’s critical to understand your expenses ahead of time.

Research the details to estimate your rent, utility payments, taxes, and insurance. Find out what you’ll need to pay to get a food or liquor license, to build up an event inventory, to maintain the property, to advertise your services, and to pay your staff. These details can help you understand what you’ll need to make in order to break even.

4. Get Your Pricing Right

Once you’ve finished the step above, you should have a better idea of what you’ll need to charge for your services in order to stay afloat.

However, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve priced your offerings in line with the market—or potentially even lower. Having competitive prices, especially when you’re just getting started, can be a great help. Finding ways to get people through the door early on through promotional prices can encourage the kind of word-of-mouth marketing you’ll need to make your business a success.

Owning an Event Venue Is Worth the Effort

At the end of the day, owning an event venue can be tough at first—but you’ll find that the end result is well worth the effort and investment. As long as you’ve done your research and planned well in advance, running an event rental business doesn’t have to be hard. Better still, you’ll be able to spend your days helping your customers celebrate, connect, and have fun!

Looking for more tips to help you make the most of your big goals? Check out our other posts for additional insights.

How Much Does Starting a Business Really Cost?

What’s preventing you from starting a business?

If you’re anything like most aspiring entrepreneurs in the United States, it’s not a lack of ideas that’s holding you back. It’s a lack of adequate capital to start and run a business. In a recent survey, 42 percent of respondents said they lacked enough money to fund their business ideas.

This begs the question, how much does starting a business really cost?

If you’re thinking of setting up a business but don’t know how much money you need, this article is for you. Read on to learn about the average cost of starting a small business in the U.S.

The Average Cost of Starting a Business

While every business has unique capital needs, the Small Business Administration notes that the average cost of starting a microbusiness is $3,000. A home-based franchise will set you back anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.

That being said, there are several factors that will influence your startup costs. They include:

The Nature of the Business You’re Starting

Generally, there are three kinds of businesses you can start:

  • A brick-and-mortar business
  • An online business
  • A home-based business.

A brick-and-mortar is the costliest business to start of the three. Among other things, you need to rent or buy a commercial space, which can cost thousands of dollars.

With an online business, you eliminate the expenses that come with renting and operating a physical space. Building a decent ecommerce or business website isn’t as costly as renting a commercial space.

A home-based business falls between a brick-and-mortar business and an online business in terms of startup costs. Since you’re starting the business from your home, the need to rent a space doesn’t exist.

Does the Business Need Permits and Licenses?

Every business needs a general business license issued by the state in order to operate. However, there are businesses that need more specialized licenses.

For example, if you’re starting a food service business, you need a general business license, as well as a food service license.

The cost of getting a business license isn’t typically prohibitive, but it can add up to your startup costs.

So, if you’re starting a business in an industry that’s heavily regulated, expect to need more money.

The Need for Expert Services During Startup

It’s possible to start a small business entirely on your own. However, depending on the nature of the business you want to start, you might need to get some professional help.

For example, you might want to hire a business attorney to help you with business registration or incorporation paperwork. You may want to hire a small business consultant to help you write a business plan. Or, you may want to work with a branding specialist like Alexandra Watkins.

Expert services cost money, so if you need the help of a professional at any stage during startup, expect your costs to be higher.

Starting a Business Needn’t Be Out of Your Financial Reach

The cost of starting a business varies depending on a number of factors, including the nature and size of the business. On average, though, expect to spend about $3,000. Drawing a business plan before starting a business is an ideal way to get an estimate of your startup costs.

Explore our blog for more small business tips and advice.

How to Set Up Payroll for a Small Business

Are you wondering how to set up payroll for a small business? If you are a business owner with either employees or contractors, you will need to set up a payroll system. 

While setting up payroll is necessary, it can be a confusing and difficult task. Unlike other mistakes in your business, if you set up or run payroll incorrectly, you can face fines, lawsuits, and even the closure of your business. Fortunately, by knowing what steps to take, you can set up your payroll correctly and decrease your risks of making mistakes.

If you need to set up a payroll system but aren’t sure how to get started, this short and simple guide is for you.  

Know What You Need To Get Started

The first step towards setting up your payroll management system is to know what you need to get started. This is an essential step, one that can save you a lot of legal trouble long-term. Visit your state’s labor website to find out everything you need to get started with payroll. 

Choose a System and Schedule

The next step for setting up your small business payroll is to choose a system to use. You can choose to process payroll manually or use an automatic system. After choosing your system, you should also choose your payroll schedule

Add Your Employees

After choosing your payroll system and schedule, it’s time to add your employees into the system. Depending on the system you have, this can be as simple as having your employees fill out a few online forms, or as difficult as manually processing each employee. Make sure you are adding the correct information for each employee to decrease your risks of making a mistake. 

Learn the Ins and Outs of Running Payroll

After your payroll is set up, you need to learn the ins and outs of running it. This can be a complicated process as there are many moving parts to processing payroll. Consider taking advantage of the customer service and support that is available for the system you choose. 

Consider Outsourcing

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of your payroll tasks, considering outsourcing. This is a great way to take advantage of a team of experts for a fraction of the price. Research payroll outsourcing companies and choose the best one for your business. 

This Is How To Set up Payroll for a Small Business

By following these tips for how to set up payroll for a small business, you can make sure your system is set up correctly. 

Start by knowing all the rules and regulations you need to follow. You should also choose a payroll system, determine a payroll schedule, and add your employees. Make sure to learn the ins and outs of running payroll and consider outsourcing if you are feeling overwhelmed. 

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to paying your employees or contractors.

Don’t forget to browse our site for advice on relationships, travel, beauty, and more.

7 Delightful Ways to Save Dollars on Your Dental Costs

Maintaining a healthy smile doesn’t require breaking the bank.

When it comes to dental procedures, people often settle for the dentists they regularly visit. However, many dentists charge outrageous prices that can make it difficult to get things done. Because of this, people end up getting loans or buying into payment plans with high-interest rates.

Understanding how to save money when you need a dental procedure will ensure you can afford more things. To save you time, we’ll go over several money-saving ideas so you can avoid high dental costs.

Read on to learn about 7 ways to save money on your dental costs!

1. Open a Health Savings Account

One of the best ways to save money on dental costs is to open a health savings account (HSA). These accounts are designed for people to grow tax-free dollars until they need them for medical expenses. They also come with favorable interest rates, so you can expect to earn money even when you’re not contributing.

If you’d like to take a more traditional approach, you can open a regular savings account and make contributions to that. However, you won’t qualify for some of the financial benefits that a health savings account can offer.

2. Use Employee Benefits

Most employers offer a plethora of employee benefits that you can take advantage of to save money. When it comes to dental care, you should see if your employer offers a healthcare plan. If they do, you can get a variety of services done without having to pay much money.

Some employers may also partner with specific dentists. If you visit them, you may not have to pay anything. This will vary depending on the type of dental procedure you do, but necessary procedures should be free. You may also get discounts when visiting the best cosmetic dentist your employer works with. 

3. Visit a Dental School

A dental school is one of the best places to go when you need a dental procedure but don’t have much money. Most schools offer dental services for free because the students need to practice on someone. While this may seem daunting, the student dentists you’ll work with have already practiced numerous times.

Not only will it give the students more experience, but you can receive high-quality work from someone that’s being supervised. The only downside to visiting a dental school is that the procedure may take longer.

4. Compare Different Dentists

Before you settle on a dentist, you should compare the rates and services of several. This is something that many people overlook, but it’ll help you find someone that offers reasonable rates. Keep in mind that dental offices are privately-owned, so they can charge any amount they’d like.

One of the main services you should look for is a payment plan. When dentists offer these, it’s much easier to get a procedure done because you won’t need to pay everything upfront. You may end up paying more in the long run, but you can get things done when needed instead of waiting.

5. Go to a Retail Clinic

A retail dental clinic offers a variety of low-cost services to those in need. What makes them stand out from other clinics is that their services are high-quality and affordable. They don’t offer many types of procedures, but you can expect to get things like cleanings, fillings, implants, and more.

Retail clinics can be found in high-traffic areas. Places like malls and drug stores are some of the most common, though you can also find them in various neighborhoods. When visiting one, you can get a dental procedure done without having to schedule an appointment.

6. Find Discounts Online

Out of all the cost-saving ideas, people often get interested in looking for coupons and discounts. This is an effective way to save money because many local dentists offer them when they want to attract patients. The best part about looking for them is that it takes minutes when searching online.

All you must do is search for something like, “dental discounts near me.” You’ll then see sites like Groupon appear, which offer a variety of coupons and discounts to new patients. These discounts often apply to basic dental procedures, but some dentists offer them for more expensive ones.

7. Practice Preventative care

Preventative care will ensure that you spend as little money as possible on dental care. Dentist pricing can be extremely expensive depending on the procedure, but they’re often ones that resolve hygiene-related problems. If you practice preventative care, you won’t have to visit a dentist often.

Things like brushing and flossing frequently will prevent your teeth from needing serious procedures. You should also schedule regular checkups to detect problems as soon as they arise. These checkups are much more affordable than getting something like an implant, which may be necessary if you have a deteriorating tooth due to poor hygiene.

Start Reducing Dental Costs Today

When you start looking into dental procedures, you shouldn’t have a problem getting them done without breaking the bank. Providing you use this advice, you’ll find a dentist that offers exactly what you need at affordable rates. However, ensure that you go through each of these steps before choosing one.

We encourage you to start by looking online for several dentists in your area. From there, you can look into coupons, dental schools, and retail clinics. If you get discounted dental costs from your employer, you may not have to do more searching.

Check out our other articles to read more about different topics!

5 Grants for Women Starting a Business to Help Even the Playing Field

Did you know: four out of ten businesses in the USA are owned by women? Women in the workplace have seen incredible growth in influence and financial power in the last three decades.

This is due to numerous factors, one being the availability of grants for women starting a business. So what are the best grants currently available for women? 

Keep reading for our guide to the top grants to apply for if you’re a woman starting a business in the USA.

1. The Girlboss Foundation Grant

Starting a business can be extremely challenging, and the creative industry is amongst the hardest field of all. Luckily, funds such as the Girlboss Foundation exist which help out women working in design, music, and the arts.

This grant is specifically for female-identifying business owners. Funding of $15,000 is available, and a thorough business plan is necessary to secure this competitive award.

2. The Halstead Grant

Next, if you’re wondering how to start a business for women, look no further than The Halstead Grant. This is for women looking to break into the jewelry industry.

Halstead offers up to $7,500 as well as an additional $1,000 to go towards purchasing Halstead jewelry supplies. Applicants must submit a portfolio and answer a series of questions relating to their business plan.

Those who are unsuccessful will receive constructive feedback about their business model, so this grant is well worth applying for.

3. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

While there’s no such thing as free money to start a business, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are the next best thing. Funds of up to $100,000 are available to successful applicants, as well as $30,000 to finalists.

If you’re looking to start a home care for independent living business, this would be a great option. Finalists also receive mentoring, access to workshops, and incredible networking opportunities.

4. Amber Grant Foundation

Another interesting opportunity for women starting a business is the Amber Grant Foundation. While a $15 application fee is required, $10,000 is awarded to a different women-owned business every month.

Then, one of the twelve grant-winners receives an additional $25,000 at the end of the year. This is a great option because you can apply throughout the year, and there’s no expectation that the money will be paid back.

5. Ms. Foundation Grants

Finally, those wondering how to start a minority woman-owned business should take a look at Ms. Foundation Grants. These grants specifically help businesses run by women, doing good for women.

For example, if you’re looking to establish a business addressing reproductive health, violence against women, or affordable childcare, this might be for you.

Those Are Some of the Best Grants for Women Starting a Business

We’ve now seen that there are plenty of options when it comes to applying for business grants. Make sure to do plenty of research into the requirements of each grant, and only apply to the ones you qualify for.

If you found this discussion of grants for women starting a business helpful, why not take a look at our other finance management posts?

3 Long-Term Financial Planning Items You’ll Want to Figure Out Today

Everyone needs to think about the future. Life is full of many twists and turns, and failure to prepare for them could leave you in a precarious position. You’ll need to embrace the idea of long-term financial planning if you want to come out the other side of life in one piece.

Setting financial goals can help you get in control of your personal financial future. However, if you’ve never thought of the long-term in this way, it can be difficult to determine how to get started.

What are some financial planning tactics that you should look into if you want to set yourself up for a more stable future? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know. 

1. Considering Retirement

We don’t all work forever, even if we do for most of our lives. The last period of most people’s lives is marked by some sort of retirement. This is where the routine of work is cast aside and the idea of freedom is embraced. Usually, sometimes after your 60s. 

Retirement is often the biggest subject on the mind of many people as they look towards their financial futures. It’s important to really think about what your retirement might look like, what your goals and hopes are, and how much money you might need to live in the way that you envision. 

Doing so can be a challenge for many Americans.

You can start off by creating a budget for these years. Think about what a week in your retired life might look like: where will you live, what will you do? This can help you to create an estimated budget for what this lifestyle might cost.

Don’t forget to factor other costs into your week-by-week life at this point. Higher healthcare costs, for example, will likely be difficult to avoid. This is just a reality of getting older.

If you think you’ll have money coming in at this point, whether it be through some form of income or through social security, you’ll want to factor this in as well. Retirement plan payouts and pensions should also be considered. 

Your expected expenses minus your expected income should give you a number that will represent how much you’ll need to have saved up for retirement.

How much are you saving right now on an annual basis? If you haven’t been keeping track, now is a good time to start doing so. Have a retirement date in mind and see how much you will have saved by that time if you keep up at the same rate of saving as you are now.

How are things looking? You should have a clear idea by doing this simple math. If you need to start saving more in order to reach your retirement goals, it’s time to start doing so. Look at your current budget and see where you can divert funds.

2. Late In Life Living

Another big element of late in life living you need to consider? Where you’ll be living. It is obviously difficult to plan for what your situation might be many years into the future. You don’t know how your health might be. You don’t know if you’ll be alone or not.

Maybe you’ll be able to live on your own, take care of all your responsibilities, and travel from place to place freely. Maybe you won’t be able to and you’ll need assistance. 

You might need to look into nursing homes near me if you’re interested in getting a view of what all the options might be like. If you think you might end up needing assistance in your later years, you’ll need to budget for this kind of care as well.

There are many different kinds of retirement homes out there and they can vary wildly in price. Looking into the many options and considering which might be right for you can help you plan for your future.

3. Life Insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy currently? If not, it’s something that you might want to consider. If you have a family, part of your long-term financial planning should be considering how you will care for them in the future, even once you are no longer on the Earth.

Getting a strong life insurance policy is generally considered the best way to go about this. The earlier in life you lock in a life insurance policy, the better price you’ll get for it. If you wait too late, you might end up locking yourself in at extremely high premiums.

This is especially true if you do so once health complications have already arisen. It can be extremely difficult to get proper life insurance if you have pre-existing conditions. The earlier you can obtain it, the healthier you are, the better.

There are many different kinds of life insurance out there and you’ll need to do your research and decide which is best for you. Whole life insurance covers you without question until death, while term life insurance covers you for a certain number of years before expiring.

It’s important to shop around and see what the provider might offer you the best rate.

Long-Term Financial Planning Tips and Tricks

If you think it’s time to start thinking about your later years, you’ll want to dig into some of the long-term financial planning tips listed above. Each of these subject matters is important to think about if you’re hoping to ensure a stable and comfortable future for yourself in your later years.

Need more health and family advice? Keep scrolling our blog for more.

DIY Your Favorite Restaurant Meals and Save Money!

Take-out night is a staple in American households to give everyone a delicious treat. All that take-out adds up to over a third of each dollar you spend on food. 

When you pay for a meal at a restaurant, you’re paying for more than the food. The price you pay also covers labor and other overhead costs at the restaurant. 

What happens if you take that money and recreate your restaurant favorites at home? Without the costs of running a restaurant, you save money on food. 

This guide contains tips on the best ways to save money with DIY meals. Start your savings adventure by using one of these recipe ideas for tomorrow’s dinner.

The Best Ways to Save Money and Eat Your Restaurant Favorites

One way to save money on restaurant recipes is to use cheaper meat. Sometimes something as simple as using chicken instead of beef makes a difference.

Fresh fish costs 3-4 times more than other meats. The best way to save money on fish is to catch your own. Grab your inflatable fishing boat and spend the weekend stocking up on fish.

Try Upscale Olive Garden DIY Recipes

Unless you eat nothing but soup and breadsticks, Olive Garden costs a fortune. You can recreate your restaurant favorites at home with a little time and effort.

The best way to save money is to pick food recipes that use items you buy often. Pasta is a staple in every pantry, so pick chicken scampi or alfredo to cook. Don’t forget to add breadsticks and salad for a real restaurant experience at home.

Surprise your family with an Olive Garden favorite for dessert. Tiramisu is a no-bake dessert you can whip up in the afternoon. It might be cheap and easy, but your family will think it cost a fortune. 

Food Recipes to Try for Taco Bell DIY Night

With the recent changes to the Taco Bell menu, some of your favorites might vanish. Stay ahead of their changes, and save money, by making Taco Bell at home.

Everyone can make a regular bean burrito with red sauce and onions. Branch out with your Taco Bell DIY and try harder recipes, like the Crunchwrap. If you’re watching your weight, make a black bean Crunchwrap, instead.

Nachos are always a crowd-pleaser. Make dinnertime interactive and set up a taco bar made with a Taco Bell twist. Look for packages of Taco Bell meat seasoning to ensure everything tastes right.

Make These Restaurant Favorites to Save Money and Eat Like Royalty

Often when you think about saving money on food, it means eating less. In reality, you save money by eating at home more often. At home, you’re not paying the overhead costs that raise restaurant prices.

Go back to eating out as a special occasion a few times a year. That gives you time to save up and treat yourself to a real gourmet feast. 

Are you looking for more ways to save money? Take a look through our articles to find tons of money-saving tips and tricks.