Entrepreneurship – Young Money http://finance.youngmoney.com Money: Earn it, Invest it, Spend it Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:17:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Relocating http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/the-young-entrepreneurs-guide-to-relocating/ http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/the-young-entrepreneurs-guide-to-relocating/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:15:45 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11602 This post is from guest author Jesse Johnson.

So, you’ve reached the point where you need to establish new roots for your business somewhere else. There are plenty of reasons to relocate, such as moving closer to your main clients, pursuing new market opportunities, seeking lower overhead costs, expanding to a bigger space, or attracting a new workforce. Whatever your reasons, this decision is going to come down to a number of factors, including the demographics of the new area, the potential for your business to engage target markets, the cost of living and operations, and the quality of life.

Although relocating carries risks, it can be the best thing you’ll ever do for your business. Here are a few major considerations any young entrepreneur should keep in mind when relocating.

Where Should You Go?

If you can go anywhere, be sure to choose carefully. There are plenty of smaller towns that offer the potential for strong customer relationships and low overhead costs. Lower costs could allow the business to experiment without the steep financial risks present in larger cities. However, anyone looking to engage within a large professional network may find themselves cut off from other industry professionals. Also, depending on your plans for expansion, it can be difficult to find and retain talented employees in smaller towns.

On the other end of the spectrum, moving to a place like San Francisco would offer a surge of culture, industry, and networking opportunities, but you’ll need to make sure you can afford the cost of living, which is among the highest in the U.S. For a better balance of culture and cost, Austin is a young entrepreneur’s paradise, featuring live music, great food and art, and a relatively young population with a median age of 31. Austin is also home to the University of Texas, which means as your business grows, you’ll have access to a steady flow of qualified graduates who are looking for work.

Of course, relocation doesn’t have to involve a cross-country move. You could find plenty of advantages to relocating within the same area. You might find a more suitable space just down the street that offers lower rent, a bigger space, or better parking for customers and employees.

There is also a trend of businesses moving to the suburbs surrounding large cities in order to lower their costs.

Finding the Right Space

If you have a general area in mind, it’s time to scour the place looking for just the right workspace. Early on in the process, you should make a list of all the requirements a new space must satisfy in order to support your business. This could include things like visibility from the street, a break room or kitchen, sensible parking, technological capabilities, plenty of space to work, room to continue expanding your workforce, and the maximum amount you could feasibly budget each month for rent and other costs.

Look for hard facts about the area, such as traffic numbers, distance to major highways and main streets, property taxes, insurance, operating expenses, build-out costs, the landlord’s reputation, and nearby businesses. You can also subscribe to the local paper or read them online in order to get a basic understanding of the cultural context of the area.

As you move forward with any space, pay attention to the length and terms of the lease. You wouldn’t want to sign on for a multi-year lease if it’s likely you’ll outgrow the space within that time or if business doesn’t pick up as planned. In some cases, even if you sell your business, the responsibilities of maintaining the terms of the lease might fall to the original lessee. This could be particularly disastrous if the person who bought your company hasn’t been paying the rent.

Once you’ve found a few spaces that meet your requirements, be sure to visit each location in person. Aside from inspecting the condition of the facility, make note of the traffic and people you see in order to better understand the dynamic surrounding the location. Spend some time exploring the city in order to get a feel for what day-to-day life might be like for you and your employees.

Employee Considerations

You should let your employees know about the plan to move at least 4 to 6 months in advance. If you are moving to another city, your employees may not be willing to relocate, and for more local moves, an increased commute can also put a strain on employees. You should consider the cost of living as it applies to your employees, and you may need to offer a pay raise or the option to work remotely in order to keep your most essential employees.

Quality of life for employees in a new location can have a significant impact on productivity, for better or worse. Take the time to look into nearby recreational opportunities, schools, crime rates, options for health care, and climate in the area. Moving to a safe place with plenty of fun things to do can increase the chance that you’ll retain current employees, attract new talent, and keep them happy in and outside of the workplace.

Financial Challenges

Before committing to the move, make sure you have enough money to safely carry your business through the transition, and be realistic about what is feasible. Even if the move is intended to save money in the long run, there are short-term costs that you’ll need to account for. These include hiring movers, transportation costs for yourself and employees, finishing and furnishing the space, buying new office equipment and technology, and hiring and training new employees. It’s also common to see a decrease in productivity for a while as your employees and customers adjust to the changes.

While some cities offer incentives for new businesses, some also have stricter laws for businesses as well as higher taxes. Thoroughly research all local regulations as you plan your budget.

Making the Move

Once you’ve decided where you’d like to go, there are all new things you’ll need to consider to make the move successful as well as common mistakes to avoid. If you haven’t done so already, create a comprehensive plan for the move and delegate different responsibilities to your employees. No detail is too small. This could include putting someone in charge of packing any leftover kitchen supplies as well as deciding who should update the address listed on your website.

By dividing the work, you can ensure that no one person has to shoulder too many burdens through the process, including yourself. Refer to this plan before the move, during the transition, and afterward in order to make sure you won’t have any unpleasant surprises later on.

Depending on the distance of the move, it might make more sense to quickly sell or donate some office equipment in order to avoid high shipping costs. If you choose to donate these items, you may be able to receive a tax deduction which can help offset moving costs.

Though you might ask for help from employees during the initial packing process, hiring a moving service is likely your best option for actually transporting equipment, furniture, and documents to the new location. You should plan to hire movers at least 1 to 3 months before the move in order to ensure they will be able to schedule your move well in advance.

Final Tips

Start early. It can take years to find the right place and ensure that you have the funds to sustain your business during the transition. If you feel like your business has the potential to expand to a new location, start looking now. It’s better to understand your options ahead of time rather than waiting until it’s too late and having to make a speedy, uninformed decision.

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to let your clients know well in advance that you’re moving. Consider receiving mail at both locations for a few weeks in order to make sure nothing is lost, and station an employee at the new location before the move so clients can begin engaging with the new number and address. This will also make sure essential services like phone and internet are working properly before you’ve fully moved in. It may be worth it to contract additional IT personnel to ensure this part of the transition goes smoothly.

It’s also possible that you don’t need to move at all in order to expand your business. In exploring all of your options, you could look into renting an adjoining space or find a separate location nearby while remaining active at your original site. Either of these options could prevent some of the disruption to productivity that typically takes place during a move and would allow customers who might be put off by a new location to remain loyal.

Even if you find the perfect space, it’s affordable, and everything goes well with the move, there is still a chance that it just won’t work out like you’d planned. Customers may not find the new location convenient, and even if you’ve chosen a location that is closer to your target market, you may risk losing your current customers. You might also find out too late that there isn’t as strong of a demand for your services as you predicted.

Despite these risks, relocation can be the key to expanding your business and creating a powerful brand with a solid customer base and loyal employees. By following these guidelines and creating a detailed plan, you can take the stress out of your move and have a successful transition to your new location.

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Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Credit Cards, Part 2 http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/young-entrepreneurs-guide-to-credit-cards-part-2/ Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:59:46 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11575

In part 1, I discussed setting up your business to do e-commerce and accepting credit card payments. In this installment, I’ll discuss personal and business credit cards for the young entrepreneur.

For some, “credit card” is like a bad word. For the young entrepreneur, it’s a necessity. Without a credit card, you have to siphon personal spending money directly from your business the minute you make a profit. Yet, at the outset, profit can be hard to come by. I’m not advocating for you to go into debt. I’m saying that using credit cards the smart way can help keep your head above water as you navigate the beginnings of a business.

Personal Credit Card Versus Business Credit Card

Some solid advice from Entrepreneur Magazine: “If you think you won’t be able to pay off purchases in a single billing period, it might be better to charge them on the personal plastic, rather than a business card.”

Business cards come with incredibly high interest rates, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found that every $1,000 of credit card debt your business accrues will make you 2 percent more likely to fail.

In other words, take on $10,000 in debt, and your chances of failure are 20 percent higher than they would have been otherwise. And that’s just due to credit card debt alone. There are countless other issues that can throw a wrench in the works, such as staffing issues, ineffective marketing, and inventory problems.

For the most part, keep business expenses and personal expenses separate when you’re paying with credit cards. But think hard about whether you should burden your business credit with expenses over a certain amount.

Establish a set baseline figure you can afford to put on the business card—it should not exceed revenue. Fill out a cash flow statement. Look at projected expenses, revenue and profits, and charge basic expenses on the business card. Then, charge additional expenses onto your personal card. If you can’t pay it off right away, your creditor can’t raise the interest rate like they can with a business card.

Consider tried-and-true methods of stacking savings—for you, the number one piece of advice here is to use a cashback credit card.

You won’t be able to get a cashback credit card unless your credit is good enough as is. Once you’re able to get one, use business profits, your own savings, as well as investor funds to pay off the card immediately. Try to pay your entire balance each month. You’ll make extra money that can go right back into the business. And you’ll build your own credit.

Building Business Credit

Your own credit score is extremely pertinent to your business credit. Before you even begin looking for a business credit card, check your FICO score and dispute any claims you think may be in error. Next, review your options for your business credit card.

Noobpreneur points out that the best option may not come from a major company. Rather, talk to the bank you’re using for your merchant account. They may be able to offer you a card more tailored to your specific business needs, and since they want to be competitive, they could give you a better interest rate.

Think about the nature of your business. If a lot of travel is involved, look for a card that earns you frequent flyer miles. If you’re confident you can pay off the card at the end of the month, find a rewards card, even if it has a higher interest rate. This is a gamble, but those rewards can really pay off. Ignoring them is one of the big mistakes small businesses make with credit cards.

Another mistake is paying interest. Again, if you can’t pay in full or miss payments, your credit issuer can immediately raise interest rates. But your credit issuer may initially give you a deal in which you pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers. For the new entrepreneur, it’s a wise idea to take advantage of those offers.

Make sure to protect your business against fraud by keeping your financial docs in a safe place, and only allow your most trusted employees access to the card for business expenses. Monitor the account and make sure no large, unfamiliar charges pop up, and be careful when you’re exchanging any sort of financial info with clients.

Watch your cash flow carefully and only charge what you can afford to the business card. Regular payment will build your business credit.

At the outset, do your best not to rack up credit card debt. Use any other means you can to finance your business. Small business loans are more forgiving than credit card debt, and your friends, family, investors, and personal savings are better sources of funding than credit cards. Once your business is on stable footing and you have good data to plug into your cash flow doc, you’ll be able to reasonably predict expenses, revenue, and profits. Then, make smart charges to your business credit card as you continue building credit.

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The Pros, Cons, and In-betweens of Starting Your Own Business http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/the-pros-cons-and-in-betweens-of-starting-your-own-business/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:47:19 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11517

A black and white world doesn’t exist. If I were to tell you, “There’s absolutely no downside to starting your own business”, I would be be wrong. Rather, starting your own enterprise involves entering a world of complexity you’ve only glimpsed from the outskirts.

The good news: about one-third of new businesses survive 10 years or longer, while about half survive five years or longer. If you’re really in this for the long-term and are ready to go all out, you stand a good chance of sticking around. If you’re not, you stand a good chance of being among the two-thirds who fail.

Pros

  • There’s a lot of assistance available: Simply Google “How to start a business” and there’s a wealth of information. The Small Business Association offers a ton of resources, and you can attend conferences, or other meetups; for an example of the type of info available, check out my article about saving money on internet marketing.
  • There are a ton of options: For one, the possibility of e-commerce opens up a world in which all you need is a product and a website. If you don’t have your own product, there are organizations like Amway that supply products for you to sell. The Amway model is called “Direct Selling”, it typically provides a supplemental option for aspiring entrepreneurs. Three million people worldwide are Amway “Independent Business Owners”, and the direct selling model—in general, not just Amway’s—brought in $36.12 billion in 2015.
  • You can do what you want: What you do with your business is only limited by your own ambition. If you want to keep it small, keep it small. If you want to go big, do your best to appeal to a wider and wider audience.
  • You can offer true personalization: You are the shop-next-door, the equivalent of today’s mom-and-pop operation, the underdog, the face of what has made America great from the get-go. You can get to know your customers face-to-face, learn their names, what they like, what their friends like, and, ultimately, what your target audience wants and needs.
  • You can end your job search: Young adults ages 20-28 change careers an average of seven times before arriving where they want to be; start a business doing something you really want to do, and stop the vicious cycle of looking for a new job and being dissatisfied with what you find.

In-betweens

  • There’s a lot of responsibility: Some people thrive on responsibility and love it, while for others the level of responsibility involved in starting a business is just too much. Before starting a business, evaluate what type of person you are and ask yourself if you’re willing to invest your entire life in it.
  • There’s a ton of competition: On one hand, the many advanced, ravenous competitors make it tough to gain an advantage; on the other, competition is good for business because your competitors will push you to be better.
  • You can’t just sit there and focus on product: If your offering is all you’re passionate about, this can be a difficult truth to recognize: a great deal of your success will depend on marketing and branding, networking with other business owners, maintaining inventory and keeping air-tight books. This is why it’s important to raise funds for hiring consultants and specialists, but nothing beats learning how to do everything yourself.

Cons

  • People try to take advantage of you: The more your business grows, the more you’ll be on the radar of other businesses and individuals who will try to take advantage of you in one way or another—and there’s simply no escaping the fact that there are bad actors in the world. Beware, do your homework, and don’t go into business with anyone unless they’re squeaky clean. Make sure their proposition is legitimate in terms of how you’ll come out on the other end.
  • You can end up being out-of-touch, overconfident, or overly-stressed: Of course, this won’t necessarily happen, but single-mindedness can be the result of overzealous pursuit. Out of Forbes’ reasons why businesses fail, a big one is leadership failure. The other reasons, such as failure to properly communicate a value proposition, stem from the owner being disconnected from the people upon which the business depends.
  • It’s about nothing but money: In the beginning, making good money was going to be a byproduct, not the end-all-be-all, because you were passionate about people and ideas, not just money; don’t let dollar signs become your only reason for doing business. Those bad actors I talked about earlier? They’re motivated by moolah.
  • It becomes ho-hum: You’re not doing anything different, you’re set in your ways, and so are the people who keep you afloat; continue on this way, and you’ll soon find yourself gasping for air.

The great thing about starting a business is the cons depend on you. Decide to steer clear of the bad actors, not to be one yourself, and to stay attuned to the evolving business world. Evolve with it, even ahead of it, and you’ll see more pros than cons.

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Entrepreneurs: How to Minimize Marketing Spend Online http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/entrepreneurs-how-to-minimize-marketing-spend-online/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:11:41 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11513 Are you a young entrepreneur going into business for the first time? If there’s anything you don’t have a lot of at the outset, it’s money. In terms of cash flow, 28% of small businesses that go bankrupt have big problems with their financial structure. There are a multitude of expenses, from product development, to finding and leasing a quality brick-and-mortar location, to hiring and training staff, to paying consultants and accountants—the list goes on.

Thankfully, many of your first-time expenses are tax deductible. You can deduct up to $5,000 in your first year of doing business. After that, deduct your remaining expenses in installments over a period of 5 years.

Things like property, vehicles, and inventory aren’t expenses—they’re capital expenditures. Over time, you can write off the cost of tangible items through depreciation. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that you have to invest money in capital expenditures at the beginning. The same applies for expenses; you could spend well over $5,000 at the beginning. With both capital expenditures and expenses, you have a year during which you’re on your own, and you may not see any return on investment (ROI) unless you do some high quality marketing.

That’s where this guide comes in. If you lower your marketing spend, you may be able to write off all of your marketing expenses in the first year. A great place to start is right here, on the internet.

Understand Google and Internet Advertising

If you’re planning on drawing in customers, invest in a website. There will be costs, such as web hosting fees. If you want to minimize your overall spend, check out a free course on how to make a website. You can DIY and achieve awesome results. It’s purely a matter of how much time and effort you put into your site.

Once you have a site, consider the matter of making yourself visible online. There are several ways of going about this, but let me just get straight to the reality of the situation: You can spend plenty of money on advertising, but not achieve any results. When it comes to display ads, publishers and advertisers have to cope with the fact that over 200 million people use ad-blockers. You are 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click a display ad, and 33% of people find ads “intolerable”.

As a first-time entrepreneur, you’re nowhere near the point where you’re a publisher who can prompt people to whitelist you on their ad-blocker extension. The best, and most inexpensive way for you to gain visibility online is to rank as high as you can in Google.

There are two ways to do this. You can buy AdWords, meaning that if you pay Google for certain keywords related to your business, you’ll show up at the top of the page when someone enters that particular search phrase. The unfortunate thing about AdWords is that if someone clicks on your ad, but doesn’t buy anything, you still pay for that click. Also, if you’re looking to compete on a national level, the competition for your keywords will be incredibly fierce unless your product is so niche nobody else is selling it. Fierce competition equals expensive keywords.

The second way to rank in Google is the organic way, otherwise known as content marketing. Organic can also be the least expensive. Start a blog on your website and create informative content related to your product or service. Put the keywords you want to rank for in your posts, but don’t overdo it. Make sure the meta structure of your site is also in good shape. Send clear signals about what you want to rank for. Next, guest post on high authority blogs and create backlinks to your content. Particularly since you’re the business owner, many different sites will want to hear from you.

This is all part of the complex and competitive world of SEO. Before you undertake this, make sure you know exactly what the deal is with Google and links. Some links to your site can be negative, some can be great. You want good links to your site, and you want internal links between your pages, ultimately funneling the user to product pages where they can make purchases. The only way they’re going buy anything is if you’ve convinced them along the way.

Understand Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great tool for valuable, inexpensive marketing. You’ve probably seen plenty of it during your personal time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media sites you might use. There are entire websites devoted to the topic of social media marketing; it’s an art, just as content marketing is to Google.

This is a huge subject so here’s a digestible, step-by-step intro:

  • Set up your business page on Facebook, which is the social grandaddy
  • Decide on your Twitter handle, and start your business Twitter account
  • Sign up with one or two other platforms on which you’d really like to see some engagement; i.e. you’re appealing to a young audience, and they’re all over Instagram and Snapchat
  • On your website, provide social media buttons for sharing content and liking your company
  • Consult these four social media rules for businesses:
  1. Along with promotional content, provide valuable information related to your niche
  2. Pay attention to your brand message by using the right words, images, and other media
  3. Post at good times; e.g. Facebook users prefer 1-4pm, Google+ users 9-11am
  4. Create conversations that evoke emotions
  • Pay attention to video marketing trends and take advantage of them; people love video—about 65% of viewers will visit your website after watching your video
  • There are so many great free tools you can use for social media marketing; even just looking at these will help give you an idea of all the different things you can do
  • Respond to your audience as quickly as possible when they reach out to you

Overall, your reach on social media can be huge and you can get started on most networks for free. Link up your content marketing efforts with your social media efforts. Think about who your customers are and what type of customers you want, then design your marketing messages accordingly. Put your heart into this, and you’ll get great results for a very small investment.

 

 

 

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Save money on your first small business brick and mortar location http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/business_planning/save-money-on-your-first-small-business-brick-and-mortar-location/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 23:17:41 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11506 Starting a small business? Real estate will be one of your biggest expenses. Unless you’re committed to doing nothing but ecommerce, there’s no escaping the difficulty of finding just the right location at a price you can afford. Particularly if you’re planning on starting something like a coffee shop, a type of business highly dependent on accessibility, your location is the difference between success and failure.

Getting started

First, you’ve got to determine where the money for your new location is going to come from. Just like The Lenders Network connects homebuyers to lenders, the SBA page on loans and grants is a tool for connecting entrepreneurs to a lender. But loans come at a price. You’ll have to pay the mortgage on your loan, so when all is said and done, you’ll pay more than the actual value of the real estate.

To avoid costly mortgage rates, start with crowdfunding. Indiegogo only charges 4% if you meet your goal, a much smaller amount than you’ll end up paying with a mortgage. Kickstarter allows you to crowdfund the creation of a product–if it takes a brick and mortar location to create that product, acquiring one is part of your campaign. Rockethub bills itself as “The leading global community for entrepreneurs”, with the “Elequity” funding hub as a starting point to guide you through the funding process. Peerbackers also specializes in entrepreneurial and small business funding, with its Crowdfunding Academy there to help educate you on how best to go about crowdfunding your business.

Maximizing your space for sustainability

Once you’ve procured funding to get going, choosing the right location is your next step. In terms of saving money, it pays to think about sustainability.

Have you looked into sustainable commercial real estate? Green buildings can save you up to 20% on utilities alone. If the building isn’t up to sustainability standards, according to Marylhurst University there are income tax credits, rebates, grants, and property tax abatements  “for everything from solar installation projects to interior energy retrofits of commercial buildings”.

If property values on sustainable buildings in your area are too high, the smart route is to identify a building in a good location that hasn’t been updated. Then, determine the price of green renovations and add it to the cost of the building. Next, research the federal, state, and local incentives for installing things like solar panels, double-pane windows, and high quality insulation. Subtract the estimated dollar amount of incentive kickbacks from your first figure, which was the cost of the lease combined with the cost of green renovations. Finally, compare that number with the price of buildings that are already updated for sustainability.

In the long run, you’ll only save money from updated, eco-friendly real estate, because you’ll save on utilities and repairs. You can also use your investment in sustainability as part of your branding, with environmental stewardship as a cornerstone of your business.

Incentives and practical considerations

Incentives don’t just come from modernizing a space for sustainability. Have you ever considered relocating to a different city? In terms of finding the absolute best location for your small business, there are cities such as Chicago that offer grants, loans, fee waivers, tax reductions and land-write downs in exchange for job creation. Do your research on areas where your product is needed, look into state and city incentives, and then consult with the local Small Business Development Center. If you’re willing to relocate beyond the US, consider global hotspots for entrepreneurship, such as Berlin, Tel-Aviv, and London.

Quickbooks points out, “The cheapest choice isn’t always the right choice.” Look for an area with plenty of traffic from your target customers. Be aware of how much competition there is in the area, too. The more competition, the less visibility you’ll have. However, if you find a key price point on which you can undercut competitors, and you have a unique brand, take the risky location with a reasonable price.

When it comes to relocating, some states have lower minimum wage than others. Research minimum wage along with the economic environment of prospective states, and plan accordingly.

In some states, you’ll have multiple power companies to choose from. Find the one with the best rates and be aware of whether they have additional charges during peak hours of use. Large spaces cost more to heat and cool. Don’t get a bigger space than you need. Reserve about 80% of the space for retail, and use low cost rental space for any additional storage, distribution, and offices.

As far as janitorial and maintenance costs, DIY is the cheapest. Another option is to use an app such as TaskRabbit, which connects you to inexpensive and reliable freelance janitors and maintenance personnel.

You’ll need liability insurance in case anyone gets hurt in your store, so use a broker to look hard for the insurance provider with the best rates.

Ultimately, the smart decision on your first location is finding the balance between price and location. A great location with lots of traffic will pay for itself. But if you don’t have a ton of funds at the outset, and don’t want to rack up lots of debt, look for the space with a decent price in a decent area, and work hard at marketing and branding to make customers come to you.

Featured image via Flickr

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How to get out of America and make good money http://finance.youngmoney.com/credit_debt/how-to-get-out-of-america-and-make-good-money/ Wed, 08 Feb 2017 18:15:10 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=11503 It’s true that an education from one of America’s universities is highly valuable. Our universities are among the best in the world, with students from all over the globe seeking admittance. But it’s also true that America’s job market is tough. It’s highly competitive and wages are relatively low, meaning grads with student loan debt often find themselves in a desperate situation, whittling away at their debt in a low-paying job.

Enter globalization. You don’t have to live in America to get a degree from one of our universities. And the job market in a foreign country may be just what you’re looking for. The option to expatriate is real, and so is online education.

Technology and globalization are two of the major trends in higher education today: around 70% of institutions offer online education, and, according to Maryville University, “Trend-setting colleges are actually expanding with physical locations overseas, in places like China and Qatar.”

For some students, the state of affairs may be such that getting an education from an American university abroad is an attractive proposition. If that’s you, there are some important things to consider.

The economies of foreign countries

Since you can access online education from virtually anywhere with internet service, one of your primary considerations will be the economies of the countries you’re considering. For one, a country with a thriving economy is more likely to have a good internet infrastructure. Two, a country with a solid economy will have more jobs to offer. Earning your degree online gives you a little more time to work and explore the local culture, because flexibility is one of the big perks of online education.

But the state of an economy is not your only consideration. In tandem with that, there’s the quality of the worklife.

According to Fast Company, if you want to work outside the US in a satisfying environment, consider the following:

  • Iceland has one of the highest employment levels at 79%, and has a great social environment, with 98% of the population reporting a supportive social network; that could be why it’s the third happiest country in the world
  • Switzerland’s employment level is also 79%, and workers between 15 and 24 have an unemployment rate lower than 8%, which is half of the global average; Switzerland is the second happiest country in the world
  • Norway’s employment level is 75%, and it’s the fourth happiest country in the world
  • Sweden ranks as the 10th happiest country, and 85% of Swedes say they have more positive experiences per day than negative ones, which is 5% above the global average

Places like Finland, Germany, and Canada also rank well when it comes to work and quality of life. But according to the Washington Post, when it comes to overall considerations for expatriation, Asian countries such as China, Singapore, and Thailand should also be in the mix. Germany and Switzerland also fare well in the overall considerations, as salaries for expats in German-speaking countries are unusually high.

There’s also the consideration of what type work you want to do. If you’re the entrepreneurial type, there’s no doubt America is one of the best countries for you. Looking to found a startup? Worldwide, Washington State University ranks Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, and Australia as the best places, besides the U.S., in which to do so.

Practical considerations

Expatriating isn’t easy, but there are several routes to take that will make working and studying abroad easier. And of course, you don’t have to completely expatriate and give up American citizenship. There are temporary options if you just want to find out what it’s like in a different country.

First, studying abroad. More and more students are taking the community college option, which is a bit less of a commitment than university. In fact, the number of students who chose community college options abroad shot up from less than 4,000 in 2001 to nearly 300,000 in 2015.

For short-term study abroad options, CIEE Study Abroad, IES Abroad January Term, and Go Overseas all offer programs.

For a semester abroad, the California community college system, community colleges in New York, and community colleges in Texas all have a wide variety of options. But consult whichever community college you’re considering about their programs, too.

Or you could volunteer abroad and do service learning. ISA Service Learning and Global Crossroads are organizations that can help you out in this respect.

And, of course, there are study abroad options in just about any university of your choice. But if you want to expatriate, that’s a different story.

In 2014, the cost to expatriate rose by 422%, from $450 to $2,350. The State Department chalked the incredibly steep rise up to the extra work they were having to do to process departures. To put that in context, 2012 and 2013 saw a 366% rise in the number of people who expatriated. If you want to get out of here, you’re not alone.

The process is relatively simple:

  • Go to a foreign country and find a U.S. Consulate or Embassy
  • Tell a consular or diplomatic officer you want to expatriate
  • Sign a form

That’s it. But here’s the catch. When you renounce, wherever you renounce your citizenship, you’ll have to hand over your passport and will be stateless, unless you already have citizenship in another country. This will make it hard to travel, meaning you’d most likely have to stay in that country. You’ll want to choose the country where you’d like to live first. Then, either look into obtaining a work visa, or study abroad there. Next, apply for dual citizenship. After that you’ll be in a secure place to expatriate.

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If I Can Do it, So Can You http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/if-i-can-do-it-so-can-you/ http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/if-i-can-do-it-so-can-you/#comments Tue, 21 Dec 2010 19:24:36 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=9844 I was never sure about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought maybe psychologist, maybe magazine editor, maybe a stay-at-home mommy, maybe all three, but never, in my wildest of wildest dreams did “entrepreneur” ever make it to that list. I was an English major in college, I loved “security”, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of taking risks as a child. When all of the kids were running to ride the scariest roller coasters, I was perfectly content eating cotton candy and riding the carousel. Essentially, if you told me 5 years ago, that I would have 2 successful businesses at 28, I would have said one thing and one thing alone: LIAR.

I’m telling you this because, if I can do it, then you can do it too. There’s nothing special or different about me. I wasn’t born into entrepreneurship, I didn’t go to a business school, I don’t have an MBA, and I never took one class on anything related to business ownership – whether marketing, finance, sales, or even economics. I was a twenty-something girl who went to a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, who graduated feeling absolutely clueless as to what my next steps would be. I remember feeling so lost during my senior year of college. Everything in my life, up until that point, had been structured – we had to take 4 classes a semester, there was winter break, summer vacation – everything was planned FOR me. Suddenly, I was in the driver’s seat, clutching onto the wheel, and totally unsure as to where I was heading.

You might be feeling like you’re in a similar place. Whether you’re still in college or you graduated in the past few years, you might feel overwhelmed, uncertain, scared, and totally lost. I get it. So I want to tell you something very important that you might have never heard before, so listen closely: You can start your own successful business.

Here are a few ways that you can get started asap.

1. Think about what you LOVE to do. This is not necessarily the same thing as what you’re good at, but rather what you would happily do all day regardless of getting paid. One thing I always tell my clients is that you can’t fake your passion. It’s all a matter of getting really clear on what your passion is and going from there.

2. Think about who you would like to work with. What kind of people do you like to be around? If you could spend your day with any type of person, who would it be? Spend 5 minutes and describe him or her.

3. Reach out to people who have already created successful businesses. Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to? There are lots of people who have already gone where you want to go. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to connect you with people they may know, seek mentors out, and learn from them.

4. Look at the big picture. Think about what you want your life to look like, beyond your business. What are your priorities? What are your values? What are your non-negotiables? These answers will help guide your decision as to what business to create.

5. Believe in yourself. In the end, it all comes down to being your #1 fan, believing in you, and being your biggest cheerleader. After all, if you don’t believe in you, no one else will (sounds super oversimplified, but it’s so true). Write down all of the reasons why you believe that you beyond have what it takes to be a huge success. Then post the list where you can see it so that when self-doubt creeps up on you, you’ll be able to put it in its place within seconds.

Jordana Jaffe created Embarkability to empower and teach women in their 20’s how to start their own successful businesses. Having launched her first business at 24 years old – without knowing the first thing about entrepreneurship – to being the founder of a successful business featured on NBC, in Women’s Health, People StyleWatch and the New York Daily News, within only a few years, Jordana realized that success is YOURS for the taking, regardless of age or background. She believes in educating young women on the possibility of entrepreneurship and has since committed herself to helping young women create the businesses of their dreams before their 30th birthdays. To find out more, please visit www.embarkability.com. You can also connect with Jordana on Facebook (www.facebook.com/embarkability) or follow her on Twitter @jordanajaffe.
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North Carolina Entrepreneurs Find Profit in Produce http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/north-carolina-entrepreneurs-find-profit-in-produce/ Wed, 04 Aug 2010 14:06:52 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/north-carolina-entrepreneurs-find-profit-in-produce/ These three found entrepreneurial success the old-fashioned way.Three young Wilmington, North Carolina entrepreneurs have started a new business, selling fresh produce from local farmers. They may be banking on the popularity of the "locavore" movement, which emphasizes eating food produced within a close, sustainable range of where you live.

Port City Produce operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, selling mostly organic produce at competitive prices. What they sell depends on the crops and fruits that are in season.
Chris Hutchens, Sven Wallin and Andrew Cameron are all college graduates, and they saw an opportunity to appeal to an untapped market segment.

"I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and own my own business, and we saw an opening for this so we jumped on this. We really didn’t see a market for anything like fresh produce markets in this area, so we decided to start one up," Hutchens told WWAY NewsChannel 3 in Wilmington.

Times are hard, but these young men proved that a bit of entrepreneurial grit and an eye for overlooked opportunities are still the most important qualities for those trying to make it on the strength of their own hard work.ADNFCR-3389-ID-19918586-ADNFCR

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Why are you an Entrepreneur? http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/why-are-you-an-entrepreneur/ Sat, 12 Jun 2010 13:59:33 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/?p=8843 Just read a good article this morning about entrepreneurship at Tech Crunch. It discusses the idea that all start-ups mustn’t raise capital or take on investors in an effort to sell one day. That it’s okay to have what’s called a “life-style” business. I couldn’t agree more. Not everyone wants to become the next Google, Mint or Facebook. In fact, most start-ups are plumbers, retail store owners, or otherwise small and local. And that’s a fine life to lead in my opinion.

Read the full article here.

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Agencies Join Together to help Rural Entrepreneurship http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/agencies-join-together-to-help-rural-entrepreneurship/ http://finance.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/agencies-join-together-to-help-rural-entrepreneurship/#comments Mon, 07 Jun 2010 18:50:00 +0000 http://finance.youngmoney.com/careers/agencies-join-together-to-help-rural-entrepreneurship/ Those looking to engage in rural entrepreneurship may find help through government programs.One roadblock for entrepreneurship is finding the money to start a business, a fact that may be especially true for people in rural areas.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that many young people are moving away from rural communities to find better opportunities in other areas. However, the department, through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Association, hopes to create better access to loans and grants for businesses in these parts of the country.

The agreement between the two agencies will last for three years and will try to create opportunities for entrepreneurship. That could include loans or technical assistance.

"Small businesses and entrepreneurs are a key source of job creation and the foundation of local economies in rural communities across the country," SBA Administrator Karen Mills said.

Field offices of both the USDA and SBA will work more closely and exchange reference materials, which will be distributed to people in rural areas looking for help in starting or maintaining a business.

Other efforts from the USDA to help expand opportunities include grant programs to create better broadband access for rural communities.ADNFCR-3389-ID-19822206-ADNFCR

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