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Real Connections SoFla, From an Events Company to Online Community

The pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for companies to facilitate in-person events. That has been especially relevant for companies that want to build community — like Real Connections SoFla.

The company previously focused on in-person wellness events. But it has since found a way to provide community value online. Read all about the business in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers events and an online community for healthy living.

Founder Jess Pfeffer told Small Business Trends, “We are a holistic talent agency and holistic online community. Our mission is to spread health and wellness tips, tools and techniques to help you live your best life.”

Business Niche

Providing authentic experiences.

Pfeffer says, “Each teacher is passionate about their topic, education, and desire to serve the community.”

How the Business Got Started

As an events business.

Pfeffer elaborates, “Last year I launched this business as an in person event based community. With a background in events, education, and networking I wanted to elevate all of the holistic practitioners in my life that are talented and passionate but don’t always love the backend business aspects.”

Biggest Win

Pivoting to an online business model.

Pfeffer explains, “Due to COVID we are on pause of in person events. At first I wasn’t sure it would work. But seeing how many people are working from home, at home with their kids, this is a great opportunity for the community to still feel connected.”

Biggest Risk

Changing the business model.

Though it ended up working out, it could have been a disaster.

Pfeffer adds, “We could have lost interest from our community. The end result would have made this business unviable.”

Lesson Learned

Grow from each experience.

Pfeffer says, “I wouldn’t change a thing. Each step has made me grow not just professionally but personally. I have stepped out of my comfort zone. And working on my own learning and growing from it all.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Growing the audience.

Pfeffer explains, “I would use it to offer these classes to a population that can’t afford the membership. I would use that resource to get more marketing to a wider audience. And I would pay each teacher a lot more money for their time.”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Real Connections SoFla, Jess Pfeffer

This article, “Spotlight: How Real Connections SoFla Pivoted from an Events Company to Online Community” was first published on Small Business Trends

who else really gets this ?

Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/number-one-business-mistake-that-ruins-entrepreneur-personal-finances-132890-1.html

By Alex Ormond

I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time. Out of hundreds of business owners—either current or prospective—that I speak to on a regular basis, nearly one-half tell me they are about to commit the mistake I discuss in this post without realizing how it can set back their personal finances. In fact, you might consider this post a public service announcement, because the ease of making this mistake, coupled with its long-term effect on your personal financial well-being, is shocking.

I am talking about using a personal line of credit to fund your business. On paper, this process does not sound catastrophic, dangerous, or worrisome. In fact, it sounds logical and easy.

The typical thought process individuals share with me is as follows: You are passionate about starting a business or maybe buying an existing one, you have a good credit history, and the bank has given you access to a line of credit. It is sitting there waiting to be used and you realize that it’s an easy way to fund your dream of entrepreneurship—be it buying computers, equipment, paying yourself a salary, or depending on how large your line of credit is, even buying a business. You can simply take the money out of your personal line of credit and transfer it to your business. Easy!

In reality, however, this simple transaction can decimate your personal financial well-being, cut off your personal access to credit, suck you into a whirlpool of high interest rates, and leave you with a subpar credit rating for years to come.

A cautionary tale

A few years ago, I met David (name changed) and his wife for coffee. David was interested in buying a ski equipment shop where he worked from its then current owner. Both David and his wife were in their early 30s, did not have kids, but wanted to start a family soon and the dream of buying and running a business was very appealing to them.

In the course of our conversation, I asked David whether he and his wife had any savings, to which he replied, “No.”

As you can imagine, skiing is a highly seasonal sport. In the summer months the business dries up, revenue generation is uneven, creating unbalanced cash flow for the business and its owner. I expressed this concern to David, given his personal financial situation and the fact that his wife was planning on staying home and not working.

The combination of the highly seasonal nature of the store, coupled with David’s limited savings and his wife’s desire to start a family, all led me to recommend to David that he was not ready to purchase the business. I advised him not to buy the store as I was concerned that he may be in way over his head.

About a year later David called me. He mentioned that he had bought the store and needed a business plan that would support his application for a short-term loan to help finance operating expenses and bridge the seasonal cash flow shortfall the business had encountered. When I asked David how he financed the purchase of the store, he told me that he took nearly $50,000 out of his personal line of credit to buy the inventory and was leasing the retail space from the previous owner, who still owned the physical building.

Needless to say, I grew concerned. I asked David what interest rate he was paying on the line of credit. He replied, “9.5%.” At this point, it became clear to me that David committed the mortal sin of blending his personal finances with those of his business. He took out a highly expensive line of credit to purchase a highly seasonal business he could not afford to buy with fixed expenses he could not afford to pay. By maxing out his personal line of credit, David had sunk his credit score to levels that, unfortunately, made him ineligible, as a business owner, for the majority of business loans.

As I was speaking to David and explaining to him my view of the situation, I could feel his heart sink. I advised him to run a credit report to see his own score: it had gone from nearly 740 to below 630. On top of that, he owed the bank $50,000 he borrowed from the line of credit at an annual rate of nearly 10%.

The previous owner of the store had built up cash reserves to provide the business with liquidity during the low season. David did not have such savings. Ultimately, he sold the business, repaying about $35,000 of his personal line of credit in the process, and taking a year to pay off the rest as he pursued a career in restaurant management.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

Why banks offer lines of credit

Lines of credit are a great tool for short-term needs, but should never be used to finance long-term cash shortfall in your personal life. For banks, lines of credit are just another way to earn interest, so naturally they make them available to you and hope you will take advantage of the easy money and don’t repay it any time soon. The longer your line of credit is being used, the more interest income the bank receives.

I fully realize that there comes a time when, for personal reasons, you need to dip into your line of credit, sometimes even for long periods of time. This is what they were designed for; however, you should never fall into the temptation of using the funds from your personal line of credit to support your business—here’s why:

Top reasons why your personal line of credit should be off limits to your business

1. Your personal financial well-being must always come first. Never put your personal finances at jeopardy in order to keep your business going. A successful business will not require you to do this, whereas a failing business should be terminated and you should move on.

2. There are other sources of business funding. If your business requires financial assistance, there are appropriate tools such as loans and investor funding available to you. You can also leverage a business lines of credit, but never use personal lines of credit.

3. What happens if you fail? As in David’s story, you can be on the hook for repaying your personal line of credit if your business fails.

5 things you can do instead

1. Start a business that requires little upfront cost. This can include consulting, marketing, SEO, web design, coaching, teaching, or affiliate marketing. There are tons of options.

2. Start or purchase a business where business assets can be used as collateral. Whether you are buying a dental clinic or starting a food truck (as examples), businesses that have fixed assets (which can be resold if the business goes under) tend to attract better financing options as lenders offer specialized loans for equipment, inventory, etc.

3. Make sure you have personal savings. You must ensure you have a personal financial safety net in case your business venture hits hard times and it is your only source of income.

4. Apply for business loans—not personal loans—to help finance your business operations. There are plenty of options available to small businesses that require operating, equipment, or cash shortfall loans.

5. Save and lend your savings to your business. Your personal line of credit does not belong to you—it’s a loan from a bank to your person; therefore, using it to finance your business is dangerous and unwise. Instead, take time to save some money, and if your business hits a snag, lend it from your person (as an individual) to your business.

RELATED: 22 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching to Investors

About the Author

Post by: Alex Ormond

Alex Ormond is founder of BizPlanShark, a small business consultancy that over the last 10 years has helped small businesses and entrepreneurs improve strategies, operations, finances, and to secure as little as $50K to as much as $1.5MM in funding. Through BizPlanShark, Alex leverages his career in corporate marketing, strategy, and business development to help entrepreneurs benefit from the quality and type of advice typically reserved for large budget firms. Using Alex’s strategies, his clients have pitched companies like Ulta and Sephora, launched franchises of some of the most successful cosmetics and consumer companies (INGLOT Cosmetics, Rylko), and started numerous startups in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Company: BizPlanShark
Website: www.bizplanshark.com
Connect with me on Twitter.

The post The #1 Business Mistake That Can Ruin an Entrepreneur’s Personal Finances appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Guest Post. Copyright 2020 by AllBusiness.com. All rights reserved. The content and images contained in this RSS feed may only be used through an RSS reader and may not be reproduced on another website without the express written permission of the owner of AllBusiness.com.

Who else loves having a business Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks to https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/home-based-business-ideas-easy-to-start/#comment-9533526

I felt that this information pertaining to self-employment will be a valuable source for me. I was seeking general ideas of
what business would be most profiting for me and realistic. I am also interesting in using Amazon and eBay to distribute my products or services.

Who else loves financial freedom Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/number-one-business-mistake-that-ruins-entrepreneur-personal-finances-132890-1.html

By Alex Ormond

I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time. Out of hundreds of business owners—either current or prospective—that I speak to on a regular basis, nearly one-half tell me they are about to commit the mistake I discuss in this post without realizing how it can set back their personal finances. In fact, you might consider this post a public service announcement, because the ease of making this mistake, coupled with its long-term effect on your personal financial well-being, is shocking.

I am talking about using a personal line of credit to fund your business. On paper, this process does not sound catastrophic, dangerous, or worrisome. In fact, it sounds logical and easy.

The typical thought process individuals share with me is as follows: You are passionate about starting a business or maybe buying an existing one, you have a good credit history, and the bank has given you access to a line of credit. It is sitting there waiting to be used and you realize that it’s an easy way to fund your dream of entrepreneurship—be it buying computers, equipment, paying yourself a salary, or depending on how large your line of credit is, even buying a business. You can simply take the money out of your personal line of credit and transfer it to your business. Easy!

In reality, however, this simple transaction can decimate your personal financial well-being, cut off your personal access to credit, suck you into a whirlpool of high interest rates, and leave you with a subpar credit rating for years to come.

A cautionary tale

A few years ago, I met David (name changed) and his wife for coffee. David was interested in buying a ski equipment shop where he worked from its then current owner. Both David and his wife were in their early 30s, did not have kids, but wanted to start a family soon and the dream of buying and running a business was very appealing to them.

In the course of our conversation, I asked David whether he and his wife had any savings, to which he replied, “No.”

As you can imagine, skiing is a highly seasonal sport. In the summer months the business dries up, revenue generation is uneven, creating unbalanced cash flow for the business and its owner. I expressed this concern to David, given his personal financial situation and the fact that his wife was planning on staying home and not working.

The combination of the highly seasonal nature of the store, coupled with David’s limited savings and his wife’s desire to start a family, all led me to recommend to David that he was not ready to purchase the business. I advised him not to buy the store as I was concerned that he may be in way over his head.

About a year later David called me. He mentioned that he had bought the store and needed a business plan that would support his application for a short-term loan to help finance operating expenses and bridge the seasonal cash flow shortfall the business had encountered. When I asked David how he financed the purchase of the store, he told me that he took nearly $50,000 out of his personal line of credit to buy the inventory and was leasing the retail space from the previous owner, who still owned the physical building.

Needless to say, I grew concerned. I asked David what interest rate he was paying on the line of credit. He replied, “9.5%.” At this point, it became clear to me that David committed the mortal sin of blending his personal finances with those of his business. He took out a highly expensive line of credit to purchase a highly seasonal business he could not afford to buy with fixed expenses he could not afford to pay. By maxing out his personal line of credit, David had sunk his credit score to levels that, unfortunately, made him ineligible, as a business owner, for the majority of business loans.

As I was speaking to David and explaining to him my view of the situation, I could feel his heart sink. I advised him to run a credit report to see his own score: it had gone from nearly 740 to below 630. On top of that, he owed the bank $50,000 he borrowed from the line of credit at an annual rate of nearly 10%.

The previous owner of the store had built up cash reserves to provide the business with liquidity during the low season. David did not have such savings. Ultimately, he sold the business, repaying about $35,000 of his personal line of credit in the process, and taking a year to pay off the rest as he pursued a career in restaurant management.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

Why banks offer lines of credit

Lines of credit are a great tool for short-term needs, but should never be used to finance long-term cash shortfall in your personal life. For banks, lines of credit are just another way to earn interest, so naturally they make them available to you and hope you will take advantage of the easy money and don’t repay it any time soon. The longer your line of credit is being used, the more interest income the bank receives.

I fully realize that there comes a time when, for personal reasons, you need to dip into your line of credit, sometimes even for long periods of time. This is what they were designed for; however, you should never fall into the temptation of using the funds from your personal line of credit to support your business—here’s why:

Top reasons why your personal line of credit should be off limits to your business

1. Your personal financial well-being must always come first. Never put your personal finances at jeopardy in order to keep your business going. A successful business will not require you to do this, whereas a failing business should be terminated and you should move on.

2. There are other sources of business funding. If your business requires financial assistance, there are appropriate tools such as loans and investor funding available to you. You can also leverage a business lines of credit, but never use personal lines of credit.

3. What happens if you fail? As in David’s story, you can be on the hook for repaying your personal line of credit if your business fails.

5 things you can do instead

1. Start a business that requires little upfront cost. This can include consulting, marketing, SEO, web design, coaching, teaching, or affiliate marketing. There are tons of options.

2. Start or purchase a business where business assets can be used as collateral. Whether you are buying a dental clinic or starting a food truck (as examples), businesses that have fixed assets (which can be resold if the business goes under) tend to attract better financing options as lenders offer specialized loans for equipment, inventory, etc.

3. Make sure you have personal savings. You must ensure you have a personal financial safety net in case your business venture hits hard times and it is your only source of income.

4. Apply for business loans—not personal loans—to help finance your business operations. There are plenty of options available to small businesses that require operating, equipment, or cash shortfall loans.

5. Save and lend your savings to your business. Your personal line of credit does not belong to you—it’s a loan from a bank to your person; therefore, using it to finance your business is dangerous and unwise. Instead, take time to save some money, and if your business hits a snag, lend it from your person (as an individual) to your business.

RELATED: 22 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching to Investors

About the Author

Post by: Alex Ormond

Alex Ormond is founder of BizPlanShark, a small business consultancy that over the last 10 years has helped small businesses and entrepreneurs improve strategies, operations, finances, and to secure as little as $50K to as much as $1.5MM in funding. Through BizPlanShark, Alex leverages his career in corporate marketing, strategy, and business development to help entrepreneurs benefit from the quality and type of advice typically reserved for large budget firms. Using Alex’s strategies, his clients have pitched companies like Ulta and Sephora, launched franchises of some of the most successful cosmetics and consumer companies (INGLOT Cosmetics, Rylko), and started numerous startups in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Company: BizPlanShark
Website: www.bizplanshark.com
Connect with me on Twitter.

The post The #1 Business Mistake That Can Ruin an Entrepreneur’s Personal Finances appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Guest Post. Copyright 2020 by AllBusiness.com. All rights reserved. The content and images contained in this RSS feed may only be used through an RSS reader and may not be reproduced on another website without the express written permission of the owner of AllBusiness.com.

Anyone else love financial freedom as much as i do? Leave A Comment Below

Thanks to https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/home-based-business-ideas-easy-to-start/#comment-9533526

I felt that this information pertaining to self-employment will be a valuable source for me. I was seeking general ideas of
what business would be most profiting for me and realistic. I am also interesting in using Amazon and eBay to distribute my products or services.

Enjoy This Post!

Thanks to https://www.theworkathomewoman.com/free-resources-business/#comment-1216059

Thanks a lot for sharing the list of free resources to run home-based businesses. When it comes to the website, the design of the site always matters a lot. And to present any product, or to show the specifications of the products, most websites are preferring images, as it is easy for the users to understand. And the most crucial part is that used images should have a small size, but at the same time, its quality should not be compromised. Here I would like to recommend a tool, Resize.live, to resize, crop, rotate and flip images in real-time.