Saving for Retirement When You Have a Pension

The biggest mistake that many people make is to not save for retirement because they think that they have a good pension. The reason this is a mistake is obvious: pensions are not as reliable as they used to be. Most of us probably know somebody whose supposedly great pension plan disappeared leaving them with a lot less retirement income.

Pensions are Not What They Used to be

The days when almost everybody could work for thirty years at the same job and look forward to a nice pension check in the mail each month are long gone. Most of us work at several different jobs with different retirement plans during our careers.

Even when a pension is available it could be unreliable in the last decade questions have even been raised about the security of government pensions. Many private pension plans have collapsed and been placed under the administration of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. The PBGC will continue paying the benefit at a much lower rate that is more vulnerable to inflation.

Finally pensions are a defined benefit which means retirees receive a set amount each month. This payment may not keep up with the rate of inflation and pensioners could end up in a situation where their income will not cover their expenses.

Retirement Savings Mechanisms for Pension Holders

Everybody who has a pension should have some retirement savings as a backup. A person can also get tax benefits from such savings because many retirement products are tax-deferred or tax-exempt. There are two excellent savings mechanisms available to everybody even if they have a pension.

Anybody can set up a tax-deferred Individual Retirement Account or IRA. A person can contribute up to $5,000 a year to an IRA and invest the funds in a wide variety of instruments including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and even annuities. The gains on the investment will be tax-deferred which means no taxes are due until money is withdrawn. A person can also invest in a Roth IRA in which funds are tax exempt after initial taxes are paid. Most persons who withdraw funds from IRAs before age 59½ will have to pay a 10% tax penalty in addition to normal income tax on the funds taken out.

A deferred annuity is a plan that allows a person to purchase an annuity through a series of payments or regular contributions. When they retire the plan will start making regular payments to them. The main advantage to this arrangement is that the funds are insured so the beneficiary will get them. Another plus is that there is no limit on the amount of tax-deferred funds a person can keep in annuities. Unfortunately it is also subject to the same withdrawal penalty for those under 59½.

How Much Retirement Savings Should You Have

A person should try to save as much additional retirement income as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of one year’s income saved when you retire. The more you save the better off you will be.

What If I Have Little or No Savings and I’m About to Retire

A person who has little or no savings who is about to retire has a number of options. An individual with a lot of cash can purchase products called immediate annuities. These are tax deferred, they are insured and they will provide a regular income. Some of them are designed to provide income for life. Other options for such a person include reverse mortgages and universal life insurance policies.

Steven Hart is a freelance writer and a Financial Advisor from Cary, IL. He writes about finance topics like annuities, insurance, investment, and retirement.

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Secret Risk Management Buzzwords Revealed

Welcome to the world of risk management or what is sometimes now called enterprise risk management or ERM.

For someone looking for a reference to concepts used in the past or for the newly designated risk expert, you will see elements of enterprise risk management in some of the concepts below. You may have been part of:

  1.  Contingency planning,
  2.  A due diligence review,
  3.  An acquisition review,
  4.  A merger and acquisition review,
  5.  An operational assessment
  6.  A strategic facilitated top management session in this approach, or
  7.  Risk management.

 Using a common source for definitions from Business Dictionary, think of these concepts as:  

Acquisition planning coordinates the activities of the personnel involved in the purchase of an asset or supply to ensure its timely and cost effective acquisition.  

Contingency planning is activity undertaken to ensure proper and immediate follow-up steps will be taken by a management and employees in an emergency. Its major objectives are to ensure:

(1) containment of damage or injury to, or loss of, personnel and property, and

(2) continuity of the key operations of the organization.  

Due diligence is a measure of prudence, responsibility, and diligence that is expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances.  

Operational assessment is an evaluation of working effectiveness and suitability of a system through test methods aimed at:

(1) identification of defects, gaps, areas of risk,

(2) measurement of the adequacy of the output, and

(3) assessment of the reliability of the operations.  

Risk management includes policies, procedures, and practices involved in identification, analysis, assessment, control, and avoidance, minimization, or elimination of unacceptable risks. A firm may use risk assumption, risk avoidance, risk retention, risk transfer, or any other strategy (or combination of strategies) in proper management of future events.  

Often the new expert in a function has to obtain a working knowledge of the buzzwords and industry jargon as one of their first steps. If you are the new enterprise risk management expert, or risk management expert, you will see these terms regularly.

Bottom line? – Stop Profit Leaks Now. Apply this information to improve your profitability, re-engineer business models, and strengthen or gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Or comment on how this article could be made more useful for you.

And apply the free Fiscal Test available at

From the author of the forthcoming book, ‘Stick Out Your Balance Sheet & Cough: Best Practices for Long Term Business Health’.

From Gary W Patterson, Copyright 2009

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Growth Of The Home Business – Home based Business

Given the immense growth of the real estate market over the past few years, there
are a lot of new businesses associated with homes. Home designing businesses are
becoming increasingly popular. One of the largest growing new businesses is Interior
Design. According to recent studies, there are around 60,000 interior designers
in the United States, more than two-thirds of them are self employed.

One of the best new business ideas in the home design area is interior redesign.
This business is only for an entrepreneur who likes interior designing and is good
at putting things together. An entrepreneur in the business of interior redesign
should be good at mixing colors and textures. Although, the concept of interior
redesign has been around for several years, it has only now caught on as new concept

The business of being a professional organizer is also a relatively new. Professional
organizers cut through the clutter in people’s homes and businesses to help them
live simpler, more organized lives. There are not too many people in this new concept
business at the moment. However this industry does look poised for growth. Another
new concept business that is beginning to pick up is the business of restoration
and preservation. An entrepreneur engaged in this business does need to know conservation
techniques as well as the basics of carpentry, masonry and electrical wiring.

An entrepreneur engaged in this new concept business could also specialize in one
area of restoration such as restoration of Victorian furniture or vintage paintings.
Another relatively new business concept that is picking up is the faux painting.
This involves painters applying decorative finishes to walls, ceilings, floors,
furniture and accessories.

The advantage of a new concept business that can be operated from home is that it
keeps the overheads low. In addition, an entrepreneur of this business does not
have to worry about the cost of renting or buying a property. Finding seed capital
for a new concept business may be harder than traditional businesses. An entrepreneur
of a small business could apply to the Small Business Administration for funds and
micro loans. Sometimes, finds from family and friends is sufficient to open a new
home business.


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Options In Raising Startup Capital For Your New Business

Starting a new business can be a demanding project especially raising the necessary
amount of
startup capital
to get your dreams off the ground and running. There are
many different options available to get funding, so it pays to utilize all of the
necessary resources available to you to ensure your choice is the most beneficial
for your unique situation.

One way to get funding for your new business is to visit your local bank to inquire
about their financing opportunities. You do not necessarily need to go to your personal
bank so ask about getting a loan for the startup capital of your new business, but
it may be a good idea if you are in good standing with them. It is important to
see if they have any package or special deals available for new business. It is
certainly something to explore to raise the startup capital. Another option to learn
more about how to get funding is to inquire about the services of the Small Business

The SBA is a great resource that provides information on requirements, credit factors,
how to apply for loans, etc. The web site is a good starting point before attempting
to apply at a bank. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be when you
begin the application process. No matter how you go about raising startup capital
for your new business, you will have much more success if you have a well thought
out and articulate business plan. The possession of this will show your potential
investors that you are serious about your new business.


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How Startup Capital Works

When you start a business you will need money to get it off the ground. This money
is called
startup capital
and you need it to rent or purchase space for the business,
furniture, equipment, supplies, fees and others. There are several places where
you can get the startup capital. The startup capital or the working capital is the
funding that will help you pay for equipment, rent, supplies, etc, for the first
year or so of operation.

You are going to need some funds to keep you going while your business puts itself
on its feet. This is why you will need to allocate enough startup capital for the
true expenses associated with running your business for the first year of operation.
One of the main reasons many new businesses fall is because they do not get enough
startup capital, that is to save some money for unexpected events, besides financial

There are two types of startup capital. One is the debt capital, which consists
of a loan that must be paid back over a set period of time with interest and other
fees. The other startup capital is equity capital, which is funding provided by
people to firms who want to own a part of your company and reap some of the rewards
when your large and successful company goes public or is acquired by another larger
and even more successful company. You also have the choice to use personal funds.
Over 50% of small business start-ups are financed with personal funds. You can resort
to personal funds if your business does not require producing a product, hiring
employees or renting an office.

To deciding to open a business you should also consider getting startup capital
from friends and family. In this case make sure you present the business to them
just like you would pitch it to a
venture capitalist
and let them decide whether
they want to take the risk or not. Overall, getting startup capital from your friends
and family may not be your best choice simply because of the strain it may put on
relationships. However, it does work for many people and may even strengthen your
relationship if your business takes off and is successful.

You can also get startup capital from banks, although banks are skeptical about
lending money to start-ups and prefer to see a couple of years of profitability
before they dole out cash. Every bank and every banker will have a slightly different
idea of what to look for when deciding whether or not to lend you some startup capital.
They will all look at your financial projections and credit history, but their perception
of your character is also a very critical factor. It may take many visits to many
banks and many different bankers to actually find one that will take a chance on
your business and give you the startup capital.

You can also go for startup capital to venture capitalists and angels. With this
type of startup capital, you can sometimes obtain large quantities of money, and
this money can help businesses with big start-up expenses or businesses that want
to grow very quickly. It is pretty difficult to attract angels and VCs but it is
worth it.


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New Business Owners Marketing Tips – New Business Success

In a world dominated by competition, achieving success in any field proves to be
quite a challenge for all new business
owners. If you want to stand a chance at establishing a market position and maintaining
your status, wrong decisions are something you cannot afford. New business owners
need to take the need for word of mouth advertising, direct marketing, creating
a brand identity, viral marketing, network marketing, establishing an online presence,
search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and e-mail marketing into
consideration before even thinking about setting up a business plan. All of these
concepts need to be implemented right from day one.

There is no easy way out. As you can see,
new business owners
have their work cut out for them. Taking all of these
variables into consideration and creating a bullet-proof business plan may seem
too overwhelming for most people. As a result, partnering up with people experienced
in the field of marketing is in order. Don’t assume that new business owners need
to handle everything themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate, delegate,
delegate. The below tips will help you in the decision-making process all
new business
owners are facing in the early development stages of their
company. First of all, break your marketing plan into stages. There is a time for
everything, and chronology should not be overlooked.

It is obvious that you would want to avoid mistakes such as running an e-mail campaign
before you have even established an online presence. New business owners need to
carefully weight every marketing activity, depending on how important that measure
is for the development of the company, on the
needed and on the possible returns generated. Remember that you
will not be able to find the time to deal with insignificant details early on. Find
an established marketing firm and delegate tasks you cannot handle. Let experts
do their job. As
new business
owners, you should never underestimate the power of publicity.
A few well-placed articles in key media can have quite an impact on the credibility
of your company and increase brand awareness, and you can reap the rewards for months
and year to come.

Don’t expect things to change instantly. New business owners should remember that
securing a market position takes time. You cannot expect a new company to become
popular as a brand overnight. There is no need to change your current marketing
approach simply because you do not see results right away. Patience is the key to
success for
new business owners
, and not realizing this aspect is a mistake you do not
want to make. You have to keep your feet on the ground when dealing with your budget.
Most new business owners cannot invest in multiple activities at the same time.

If you need to change anything related to your budget, inform your marketing team
and they will adjust your campaign accordingly. To conclude, if new business owners
and marketing partners manage to work together and create a productive environment,
then the newly established company is off to a promising start. Knowing when to
delegate and what marketing team to choose can give your business the edge it needs.
If new business owners have a quality product
of any nature, and manage to market that product wisely, success is just around
the corner.


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Researching The New Idea

best business plans
are not always the best and innovative ideas. However, they
are probably the best researched ideas.

For any new business to succeed, an
needs to ensure that he or she
is building a product that is satisfying the needs of the market. The challenge
is in understanding what makes “one product” right enough to satisfy the needs of
large group of customers.

The best business plans rely on impeccable market research and a core understanding
of the product and the need for it by customers. An entrepreneur needs to take into
account the existence of a similar product already available in the market and the
uniqueness of the prospective product that distinguishes it from all products already
available. Finally, the
should estimate whether the product will make
money and if so how much.

In-depth market research is essential not only in formulating business plans but
also for successfully earning the finances to see the business plans through. Angel
Investors as well as
venture capitalists
expect and demand market research from
any entrepreneur presenting a business proposal.

The business proposal developed by the
will provide him or her with
information that is critical to secure financing. In addition, the process will
yield valuable information about customers that will help the entrepreneur fine
tune his or her business idea.

Failure to research customers can be costly. A product that is introduced by an
entrepreneur into a market with insufficient market research will most probably
fail. This is because the entrepreneur has entered into the market without sufficiently
learning if there was a need for the product and for how much of the product. An

entrepreneur needs
to know the potential customer very well. It’s not surprising
that entrepreneurs who are most successful are those who visit as many potential
customers as possible.

First the successful entrepreneur tries to sell the product and impress upon the
potential customer need for the product. But at the same time, the
successful entrepreneur

also listens to the customer and tries to understand why there may never be a market
for the product.

The bottom line is that a successful
is always listening. He listens
to his potential customers and he knows the value of market research.


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Market Reserach Is Key To Developing A New Business

Often times, entrepreneurs may have a great business idea; however, many people
may not be interested in the particular product or may not be willing to pay for
the product(s) or service(s) offered. Small business owners simply cannot assume
that their business ideas are what people want without knowing who their target
audience is, the amount of money people are willing to spend for their product(s),
and who their competitors are. This is the very reason why market research is important
for a new business.

Questions every entrepreneur should ask themselves

who is planning to introduce their new concept into the market needs to determine
the reasons for starting their new business. They should ask themselves the following
questions: What technical skills do I have that will contribute to my new business?
What do others believe are my strengths and weaknesses? Will I have the finances
to fully support my family when I decide to leave my job and start the new business?
How much available time do I have to invest in my
business idea

planning to set up niche or highly specialized new businesses need
to answer the following: What new concepts or ideas will I be bringing forth? What
services or products will I sell? Is my idea practical, and will it fill a need
in the industry? Who are my competitors? What is my business’ advantage over existing
enterprises? Can I deliver better quality service over major competitors? How can
I create a demand for my business? Once an entrepreneur can successfully answer
these questions, they will discover that staring a new business takes much more
than talent or motivation; it takes ample research and preparation.

Benefits of market research
By conducting thorough market research,
entrepreneurs will be able to obtain valuable information about starting their new
businesses. First, market research will enable the business owner to learn of industry
trends and which products/services will be in demand. Second, they will be able
to see how the general public responds to their business ideas. This step is extremely
important because if a business manager cannot show investors (venture capitalists
or angel investors) that his/her great business idea(s) has/have potential, they
may not be able to secure proper funding for their venture.

Another advantage of market research is customer feedback. Through surveys, literature,
and questionnaires, business owners will be able to determine the overall satisfaction
of customers, and based on customer response, they can hone any imperfections to
make the product more marketable. Thorough market research can also be beneficial
in devising a viable business plan. Many investors will not even consider investing
in a company without a well-prepared business plan. These detailed business plans
are often flexible and can change throughout the development of a business. There
are also several formats of business proposals, which can range from mini-plans
to full length presentations. The latter type of business plan outlines the business
as well as the financial outcome of the company. This is the format that
investors and financial institutions prefer the most.

In order for any great business idea to succeed in the market, business developers
need to learn about their leading competitors. By keeping track of market behavior
and the competition at hand, the business owner can develop great business ideas
targeted towards winning over new customers and increasing their profitability.

Types of market research
There are two distinct types of market

A. In secondary research, the business owner meticulously gathers already
published data, which is easily accessible and nearly free to obtain. Information
such as consumer demographics, major competitors, and general usage of products
is often collected by government agencies and organizations, and made available
online and in books and publications. One disadvantage of this type of market research
is that the data collected may be difficult to validate and may even contain biased

B. Primary market research is more specific in nature. It contains information
regarding a specific product that is brought forth by a company. Focus groups, field
studies, and simple observations of customer behavior are some ways in which companies
obtain primary market research. Many businesses that are planning to launch new
products rely on this form of research since they produce more specific results.
However, primary market research can be quite costly. Using both types of research
can certainly allow business owners to have accurate information regarding the market
and in making wise investment decisions.

Types of customers
There are three main types of customers
that every business will encounter. Depending on the product, its cost, and position
within the sales cycle, they may or may not be influenced to purchase a particular
product or service. It is up to the sales person or business owner to understand
their customers’ thinking in order to successfully win them over and make a sale.

A. The financier or “purchaser” is primarily concerned with the cost of
a product, not how effective a particular product may be. These types of customers
are aware of all the prices offered by major competitors and will often purchase
a product if they believe it is a good bargain. To target this type of customer,
the business owners should show how their prices are competitive. If the product
offered costs more than that of the major competitors, it is always good to reason
with the customer, show how the cost will be less throughout the life of the product,
or even how they will eventually break even.

B. The expert or “influencer” is not concerned by the cost of a product
but rather if the product being offered will be considered a good purchase. They
tend to be very knowledgeable about every characteristic of a product, including
technical features that the product offers. Their level of expertise may even influence
the buying behavior of others, especially if they believe the product is exceptional.
To target this type of customer, the business owners should be aware of every aspect
of their product and present to potential buyers what the product can do for them.

C. The end-user will not only be glad to purchase the product but s/he will
actually use the product bought. When enticing this type of customer, it is always
good idea
to relate to them with their frustrations on their current situation
and convey how their new product will alleviate many of the limitations that they
may have encountered.

Overall, market research tests the customer response
to a product. When developing a great business idea, business owners first need
to think how their great business ideas will benefit customers. Shortly after developing
great business ideas, entrepreneurs are encouraged to analyze the market in order
to determine if their product is similar to what they are considering to develop
and if it is already available on the market. If there is already a similar product,
business developers then need to determine how they will place their new product
to differentiate it from the product already available on the market. The placement
of products born out of great new business ideas need to be carefully chosen to
attract the maximum attention of customers. In addition, it is product placement
that will differentiate this product from other similar products on the market.


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Some Facts About Women Entrepreneurs

Today, more women are breaking free from the traditional, gender-specific roles
and venturing into the business world. Not only are they holding high corporate
positions but they are also successful women entrepreneurs who own almost half of
all businesses in the United States. The steady rise in female entrepreneurs can
be due to many different reasons, most of which share the same rational as their
male counterparts—passion for their ideas, the desire to become their own boss,
and the need to address philanthropic causes. A recent study indicated that 1 out
of every 11 adult women is an entrepreneur in the United States. Women business
owners contribute to the overall employment of 18 million workers and generate anywhere
from $2 to $3 trillion in U.S. economy revenues. Many of the important facts that
follow will support these findings.

1. Demographic characteristics
Studies have shown that successful Women entrepreneurs start their businesses as
a second or third profession. Many of them have experienced a considerable amount
of dissatisfaction with their previous careers and in working for others. Often
times, these innate desires to be their own boss are the driving forces that motivated
them to pursue entrepreneurship.

As a business owner, these once unhappy individuals are now more satisfied and content
with their personal and professional life. In addition, because of their previous
careers, women entrepreneurs enter the business world later on in life, around 40-60
years old. Many of them have higher education degrees, a significant characteristic
that many successful female entrepreneurs have in common. Women entrepreneurs also
tend to offer better health care benefit packages, on the job training and education,
more tuition reimbursement for students and continuing education employees, and
provide more vacation and paid leave options to their staff.

2. International implications
From a large-scale perspective, female entrepreneurs encompass approximately 1/3
of all entrepreneurs worldwide. A recent international study found that women from
low to middle income countries (such as Russia and the Philippines) were more likely
to enter early stage entrepreneurship when compared to those of higher income countries
(such as Belgium and Sweden). A significant factor that may play a role in this
disparity can be contributed to the fact that women from low income countries often
seek an additional means of income to support themselves and their families. As
a result, many of them often resort to entrepreneurship in addition to their current
jobs. However, women entrepreneurs from higher income countries were more successful
at establishing their businesses and exuded more confidence than those of poorer
nations, perhaps because of the availability of resources and financial backing
from families and friends.

In addition, women who had higher education experience were more likely to transform
their existing businesses into successful ones, proving that learning and work familiarity
is universal across all cultures and greatly contributes to the overall success
of any business venture.

3. Strategy
Recent studies also indicate that women entrepreneurs are assembling themselves
into groups or confederacies. The reasons behind this trend have to do with the
desire to establish solid women business networks, where members can collectively
pool resources and expertise together.

Women business networks have also been found to be more generous in their philanthropic
contributions. At least seven out of ten women entrepreneurs of a new business volunteer
their time at least once per month to community-related causes. In addition, 31%
of them contribute $5,000 or more to various charities annually.

Even though many female entrepreneurs have home-based and service-related businesses,
they are unafraid of technology and have recently entered many industries that were
once male-dominated, such as construction, design, manufacturing, and architecture.
In addition, the retail industry still makes up the largest share of women-owned

One of the advantages of working in a women-owned new business is that the workforce
is more diverse. Women entrepreneurs are more likely to employ a staff that is more
gender-balanced, comprising of 52% women and 48% men on average. On the other hand,
most male-owned businesses have a workforce that is often more than 65% men.

4. Sources of capital
The fact that more women entrepreneurs have risen in the past few years has been
made possible in part by the easy availability of business capital. Women entrepreneurs
tend to fund their startups with different sources of funding, including “bootstrap”
finances (personal money from savings and credit cards) and commercial loans. Today,
not only are there more grants and bank loans made available to women entrepreneurs,
but there are also more diversity programs that specialize in providing seed funding
to female business owners.

However, despite the recent achievements, research shows that it still remains difficult
for women of color to get access to seed funding. According to one recent study
on women entrepreneurs, approximately 60% of Caucasian women business owners were
able to obtain bank credit, compared to 50% of Hispanic, 45% of Asian, 42 % of Native
American, and 38% of African-American women entrepreneurs.

5. Motivation
Much of a business woman’s drive to pursue entrepreneurship is due to the immense
passion she has for her work. Many women entrepreneurs are not afraid of taking
risks and are two times more likely to make above average risks than their male
equivalent, making monetary gain a less likely factor in their business pursuits.
Instead, they possess very strong business ideas and seek any and all means to share
their business ideas with others who may benefit from their discoveries.

Another motivating factor behind women entrepreneurs is the desire for control.
Many successful female business owners are provoked by the opportunity to be their
own boss and run their own company, a prospect that would never occur if they had
worked for someone else. Women entrepreneurs are also motivated by philanthropic
commitment to society. Their new businesses will greatly stimulate economic development
in their community and create new jobs for many people.

Another inspiring component that many successful women entrepreneurs share is the
fact they have the tendency to balance family life and career. Many people may have
had doubt in this ability when these women first entered the field because of the
long work hours, but these reservations have often been proven wrong. It is no wonder
that many successful women entrepreneurs have an amazing ability to multitask, properly
balancing both personal and professional life with their goal-oriented approach.

6. Present challenges
Even though female entrepreneurship and the formation of women business networks
is steadily rising, there are still many prospective women entrepreneurs who do
not follow through with their great business ideas. This is widely due to the fact
that many challenges exist for them to overcome. First and foremost, many prospective
women entrepreneurs may fear the debt associated with their startup. They may not
have the resources available to make educated decisions about properly raising capital
or may even have been discouraged by family and friends. As mentioned earlier, if
an entrepreneur truly believes in their business ideas, then they will seek any
means to move forward and commercialize their concepts.

A second challenge may be their lack of knowledge in information technology and
business skills. Even though many successful business ventures are IT-related, there
are many other thriving industries that do exist. Experience is always an advantage;
however, one just has to conduct ample research on their industry, their consumer
base and competitors, and speak to entrepreneurs who have already gone through the
process. Entrepreneurship is a learning experience and even the most successful
business owners have had to learn new things throughout the development of their

Another major challenge that many women entrepreneurs may face is the traditional
gender-roles society may still have on women. Entrepreneurship is still a male-dominated
field, and it may be difficult to surpass these conventional views. However, it
is very important to be aware that despite the negativity that may exist, over 9
million women own their own businesses in the U.S. In fact, of all U.S. enterprises
that exist, over 40% comprise of women-owned businesses. The United States Census
Bureau predicts that by the year 2025, the percentage of women entrepreneurship
will increase to over 55%. Many women feel a great deal of empowerment by the opportunity
to own their own company and may now be motivated by such high statistics.

7. Future prospects
There are many promising predictions for women
in the near future.
More coalitions will be formed among female associates, enabling the establishment
of female business networks to flourish in the business world. In addition, the
U.S. Census envisions that women entrepreneurs and female business networks will
both remain dominant, comprising of over 50% of all business in the United States
in the next several years. Many women
with home-based and service-related
businesses will eventually shift to the information technology industry, making
this once male-dominated commerce to be one of equal gender appeal.

With progressive changes, the United States economy will refine itself to a financial
system that will rely heavily on the internet and e-commerce for their business
practices. Enterprises will also focus more on women-related issues and principles.

Women entrepreneurs have become a strong driving force in today’s corporate world.
Not only are they able to equalize their duties of both motherhood and entrepreneurship
but they also comprise of almost half of all businesses owned today. Many women
entrepreneurs have an average age of 40-60 years old because they have had previous
careers in other areas. Their primary goal is not monetary reward but rather personal
satisfaction and community involvement. Many of them are educated and assemble into
groups in order to pool business ideas and resources together.

Women entrepreneurs also have more access to business capital and seed funding than
ever before. Yet despite the many opportunities, many prospective women entrepreneurs
are intimidated to move forward. Overall, there are many promising forthcoming predictions
for women business owners. They will continue to form female business networks,
transition towards information technology, and rely strongly on e-commerce as their
form of trade.


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Home-Based Business Scams

Every day, many people fall prey to home-based business “opportunities”
in which scammers successfully target hundreds of people. Their tactics often involve
“get rich quick” schemes and other seemingly believable employment opportunities.
There are 4 groups of people that seem to be inclined to these deceptive practices:

There are primarily two types of home based business scams that people may encounter
in newspaper ads, direct mail advertisements, and e-mail. Both schemes promise the
prospective victims to “make money fast” in the convenience of their
own home:

 The following are ten of the most common home-based business scams:

There are many legitimate home-based business opportunities available; however,
there are also some deceptive work-at-home scams found on internet message boards,
mail advertisements, and in newspapers and magazines. Many of these ads seem too
good to be true, and victims who respond to them end up losing their money, never
get paid, and work wasted hours on tasks that are worth nothing in the end. In order
to avoid being misled by work-at-home scams, one should always use common sense.
A reputable business will always provide customer references, their company’s
phone number and physical address, and never create high-pressured, deceptive sales
tactics towards their customers. It is extremely important to confirm a company’s
reputation with the Better Business Bureau if you have any doubt concerning a home-based


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