The Pros and Cons of a Coworking Office Space for Business Startups

Since 2010, the number of coworking spaces has grown by 50% each year; in 2018, the number in America rose by 16%. Evidently, this type of office space is rapidly becoming the norm.

While it's non-traditional to share office space, it's obviously something that provides many benefits. Otherwise, why would it be so popular?

But as with all good things, there are always the negative sides. In this article, we'll discuss both the pros and cons of a coworking office space.

Pros of a Coworking Office Space

Below are a few reasons why you should consider a coworking office space.

You'll Save on Rent

If you're bootstrapping for your business, you'll have very little capital to work with. Shelling out a large sum of money every month to pay for office rent may not be feasible for you. One of the main perks of a coworking office space is its rental fees are usually lower than an office's.

They Come with Amenities

Most shared office spaces come with things like good internet, lounges, and meeting areas, so you won't have to seek out other places for things like client meetings. Some coworking spaces also have weekly parties and other fun programs, so if you're trying to attract employees to your company, these can be great perks for them.

Get Easy Networking

Coworking spaces always attract like-minded people, which means you can work and network effectively at the same time. You may find other professionals who you can collaborate and innovate with. Plus, they may be able to introduce new clients.

Cons of a Coworking Office Space

Here are some reasons you may not like having a coworking space.

Too Many Distractions

If you need quiet, you probably won't get it here. Other people may talk, play music, or have impromptu meetings, which can all highly distract you from your work. This can mean you have a lack of privacy as well.

There May Be Competition

Other people in your industry may have the same idea of using a coworking space, so you may run into competition. Things can get awkward if you have to see them face-to-face every day.

Limited Hours

If you keep odd hours, you may run into problems here. Most spaces are only open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, which means you'd have to find another working space after hours.

Pick a Space That's Right for You

When it comes to a coworking office space, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. While it may be a great place for a small startup team, it may be a distracting space for others.

After assessing all the pros and cons of a coworking office, only you can determine if it's right for your company. So don't just follow trends. If, after some careful consideration, you feel like a traditional office is best for you, then it's completely fine to opt for that instead of going with the crowd.

If you're interested in angel investor funding for your business, then please apply now.


A Guide for Entrepreneurs: Business Funding and Finance Terms You Need to Know

You might be a rock star at unplugging the kitchen sink or crafting a killer bridal updo. You might love to transform the backyard into a wonderland. Maybe you're that guy who can fix anything. 

Whatever your skill, kudos for following your passion and turning it into a business you can call your own. What you might not be prepared for is all the business stuff that comes with chasing your dream and becoming a small business owner. 

But for your business to grow, you have to be as good at running a business as you are at the things your business does. As a small business owner, you need to understand the ins and outs of running a business. 

Learn about these finance terms related to running a small business.

Accounts Payable 

Accounts payable is the term used to identify the money you owe to others. It might be another vendor or supplier. They are your business obligations owed to others.

Accounts Receivable

Think of accounts receivable as the opposite of accounts payable. The receivable part is the money owed to your business for your services. If you provide the service and invoice a client, it becomes your accounts receivable.

Revenue

This is the term that explains the income you get over a period of time. The revenue goes into your accounts receivables. 

Assets

Assets are valuables owned by your company. Assets can be tangible, such as real estate, equipment, and furniture, or intangible, such as trademarks and patents. 

Business Plan

A business plan is the foundation of your business. This document fleshes out your mission and vision, ownership details, organizational structure, capital requirements, income projections, and your sales and marketing strategy.

Cash Flow/Cash Flow Statement

Cash flow is the amount of money that comes into and goes out of your business over a period of time. 

Each month your business has accounts receivables. This is the cash flowing into your business. Also, each month your business has cash leaving it through your accounts payable. 

The cash flow statement records these transactions within a specified period.

Credit Limit

Small businesses often need to obtain a line of credit to help them get started and cover their expenses. Your credit limit tells the maximum amount of money an investor or a lender can give you.

Gross Profit and Net Profit

As a business owner, profit is important to you. Understanding the difference between gross and net profit is critical.

Gross profits are the profits you have coming into your business once you subtract the cost of the items you sold. 

Net profits are not just the cost of the item minus the cost of the product. It is the profits minus all expenses related to the business. Net profits commonly referred to as the bottom line, explain how much money is left in the business after all the costs and expenses are subtracted.

Income Statement

An income statement, also known as profit and loss statement, shows a business' revenues and expenses.

By studying an income statement, a business owner can easily know their profits or losses. They can also tell if their expenses are too high, and establish whether the business is on course to meet its financial objectives.

Understand These Finance Terms!

Being a small business owner means being business-savvy and keeping an eye on the money. With this guide on basic finance terms, you now have a stronger understanding of your business' finances.

Keep learning and feel free to learn more about how we can help your business. 


Networking Women: 4 Networking Tips for Female Business Owners

36% of American businesses are women-owned, and 99.9% of them are considered small businesses. Based on these statistics, there's a very good chance you're a woman who owns a small company.

As a woman (and especially if you're a woman of color), it can be difficult to get your business off the ground. To help you out, here are 4 key tips for networking women.

1. Attend Gender-Specific Events

When you attend conferences geared towards women, you'll find that networking is a lot easier to do, especially if you're in a male-dominated field. When women get together, they tend to band together to support one another.

When you feel comfortable in a space, you tend to feel more confident. This can motivate you to make more connections that you would've had you attended a mixed-gender event. 

2. Join Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces are great places to link up with other entrepreneurs. Whether they're also struggling in the road to success, or they own hugely profitable companies, you're sure to find a mixed bag of like-minded people.

Mingling with entrepreneurs you meet in co-working spaces serves two purposes:

  • You can put your heads together with those who have just started out and help each other bring in business,
  • You can get some mentoring from those who are more experienced.

3. Be Assertive

Being assertive can do wonders; not just for yourself, but for your networking efforts as well. When people sense that you know what you want, and you know how to get it, they'll be more open to discussions with you.

People are also at events for the same reason as you: to network. So don't dance around what you're trying to achieve.

Instead, make the most of everyone's time by directing the conversation toward a shared business interest. They'll certainly welcome a mutually beneficial subject.

4. Always Follow Up

You may have spent hours at an event painstakingly gathering information on people you've met. But what's the point of doing so if you don't do anything with that info afterward?

The most important thing about networking is following up. A few days after the conference, you'll want to go through your contacts list and get in touch with everyone.

Make sure to thank them for their time and mention your conversation briefly to remind them of who you are. They'll appreciate the personal touch, and you open the doors to a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.

Becoming a Part of Networking Women to Succeed

When you join the ranks of networking women, you're sure to see your business succeed. While it may not be the ideal thing you want to do with your time, think of networking as an investment.

Every time you attend an event, you're building your web of contacts a little more. In time, you'll have a reliable network of people you can rely on to help grow your business.

If your company needs funding and you'd like to make a pitch to us, apply now!


What is an Angel Investor? 5 Things to Know as You Find Angel Investors

 

Over 30 million small businesses are operating in the U.S. right now. If you're ready to join that number, you know how important the funding piece is to business success.

Inadequate funding is the second biggest reason small businesses fail. The number one reason is simply no market for the product (this is why good market research is key!). As a small business owner, you have several funding sources to explore. There are federal and state grants, personal savings, and business loans.

Depending on the kind of business you're starting, Angel investors are another option to consider. Angel investors provided nearly $25 billion to small businesses in 2015. Here are five things you should know as you find angel investors.

1. What is an Angel Investor?

An angel investor is typically a business person with significant personal and business wealth. They may be individuals who gained accredited investor status with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC defines an accredited investor as someone with more than a million dollars in assets or who earned $200,000 in the previous two years. It isn't required for an angel investor to carry the accredited investor status. 

2. What Does an Angel Investor Do?

An angel investor provides significant funding for both start-ups and small businesses in the early stages of growth. An angel investor might be a family member, a friend, or a fellow entrepreneur. 

The angel investor might provide the money needed to get a business started, or he might fund the on-going needs of a small business for the first few years of operation. The biggest advantage of working with an angel investor is that you don't have to pay the money back if your business fails.

The typical angel investment can range from $10,000 to $75,000 or more. It's risky, too. Only about 40 percent of angel investments wind up giving the investors more money than they provided.

Angel investors are usually in the business for more than money. They may want an ownership share, for example. This is especially true when the investor believes the product or service can become the next big thing.

3. Where Do We Find Angel Investors?

One place to start is with your family and friends. Are people you know in a position to provide funding for your business? If so, can your personal or professional relationship survive a loss if the worst should happen?

You might also look for investors who are associated with a Small Business Investment Company and licensed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

You may also find investors through crowdfunding platforms online. Many angel investors will work together and pool their capital to fund one start-up.

4. How Do We Secure an Angel Investor?

It won't be easy because this investment is risky. You can increase your chances of landing an angel investor by being as prepared as possible before you meet him or her.

Make sure you have answers to these types of questions:

  • How much money have you raised?
  • How much do you need?
  • What are your expenses?
  • What are your financial projections for the next two years?
  • How will you market your product or service?
  • Who is your target customer?
  • Who is your competition?

You should also be prepared to talk about your company's leadership team, if applicable. What is their background? What experience do they have?

5. When Should We Seek an Angel Investor?

The quick answer to that is after you've done most of the labor-intensive work.

Ideally, your product should be finished or your service in operation and available to demonstrate to investors. At the very least, you need to be able to show proof of concept. It also helps already have invested a chunk of your own money in the business. Bootstrapping shows angels that you have your own skin in the game. 

You should also have potential customers. These are people who have indicated a willingness to purchase from you. They may have provided you with a testimonial and permission to use it during your investment meetings.

Final Thoughts

One more thing to keep in mind as you find angel investors. They focus on helping start-ups get going, and they may want to own a piece of your company in return for their investment. 

Score 3 Angels looks for promising entrepreneurs on a mission to solve the toughest problems. Click here to learn more about us and how we can help your business grow.  

 


5 Empowering Conferences for Women in Tech

Are you a woman who works in tech or want to pursue a career in a STEM field? Wish you knew how to meet other passionate, like-minded women in your field, and grow your career? Well, technology conferences are a great way to network, learn more about your industry, and be inspired by other women killing it in your field.

4 Empowering Technology Conferences for Women

Want to go to a tech conference, but not sure which one or what options are even available? In this article, we’re covering 4 amazing women in tech events you should check out. So, you can learn from female entrepreneurs, connect with industry experts, and grow professionally.

Women in Tech Summit

The Women in Tech Summit (WITS) is one of the premier conferences for women working in technology fields. The conference covers a wide range of tech areas, including cybersecurity, project management, software, and even human resources. It’s also held across a variety of states, which makes it accessible for many women to attend.

WITS provides attendees with the chance to hear about new technology trends, learn new skills through hands-on workshops, and connect with other women working in tech. It can also help connect you with potential employers and investors

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Hosted by the Anita Born Institute, this conference is one of the biggest gatherings of female technologists in the entire world. The conference celebrates the achievements women have made in tech while providing them with opportunities for collaboration and professional development. Like WITS, there are also recruiters from a wide range of companies, if you’re looking for a new role.

The location and speakers for this event changes with each year. Previously, speakers included professors of technology from universities like Harvard and Carnegie Mellon.

Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

The next great conference on this list is the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference, an event for women in tech of every race, industry, and level. Held in June 2019 in San Francisco, this conference features women from many backgrounds, from Pixar Animation Studios to the Director of Product Creative Strategy at Netflix.

Beyond speakers, this conference has a variety of events. There are speed informational interviews, design thinking sessions, and networking mixers so you can chat with female leaders from a range of tech sectors.

Global Tech Women Voices Global Conference

With this conference, participants gather virtually and in-person across the globe to discuss the contributions of women in tech. Attendees participate in technical discussions and are able to network with women across the world. And what’s better is that this conference is streamed and recorded, so you can easily access it if you’re unable to attend.

This conference also focuses on finding solutions for the gender gap within technology, and the ways in which women of all ages, races, and backgrounds can be encouraged to participate.

Ready to Get Inspired?

With new technology conferences popping up every year, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attend one. Not only will you learn new skills and hear from motivational leaders from your industry, but you’ll also be able to make valuable long-lasting connections.

Did you find the information in this article helpful? Check out our blog for advice on everything business!


Best Accelerators for Funding Minority Businesses

More and more startups are entering the business scene every day. Accelerators are also popping up to support those startups.  

In fact, between 2008 and 2014, accelerator programs in the U.S. increased at an average rate of 50%.

Participating in an accelerator program can be immensely helpful in the early stages of getting a company off the ground. This goes right along with finding investors to support your company.

Of course, you have to find the right accelerator for your business. We've made a list of some of the best accelerators focused on supporting and investing in minority businesses.

Keep reading to find the right minority business accelerator for you and your startup!

What Accelerator Programs Really Do

Accelerator programs for entrepreneurs help support startups in the early stages of their business. 

These programs do not necessarily provide early startups with financial funding. However, some accelerator programs do invest in the companies. 

Accelerator programs mainly support startups in the form of mentoring and advising entrepreneurs.

The sessions are short. They are usually just a few weeks to a few months time. However, they are designed to jam-pack helpful information into this short period of time.

Accelerators are all about literally "accelerating" your startup's rise to the top. 

You can find accelerators that focus on many different niches within the startup world. Here, we've looked for the best startup accelerators that are focused on investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs (i.e., women and people of color).

Here are 5 of them.

5 of the Best Accelerators for Minority Businesses

Backstage Accelerator

This business accelerator fund is focused on investing in startup founders identifying as women, people of color, or members of the LGTBQ++ community. 

Backstage Accelerator does provide financial funding, in the form of 100K USD capital in exchange for 5% equity in the company. This 3-month program also provides several educational opportunities. You'll hear from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and many other experts in the business world. 

They promise free city co-work space during the program. They also offer support in building a community within the entrepreneurial world. 

NewMe

NewMe offers one-week accelerator programs in several cities around the U.S. Locations include Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Miami. 

They promise small cohorts with no more than 8 founders in each group. This ensures more individualized attention during your participation in the accelerator program. 

Dreamit Ventures

Dreamit Ventures offers 3 different accelerator programs for entrepreneurs. It just depends on your company's niche. The three programs are HealthTech, UrbanTech, and SecureTech. 

HealthTech focuses on startups in the healthcare industry. The UrbanTech program supports environment startups working in urban development. Finally, SecureTech works with startups that are in the security niche. 

They promise to provide ample networking opportunities within your industries. Dreamit can also help connect your startup to some of the best potential customers.

DivInc

Located in Austin, Texas, DivInc stands out from other enterprise accelerators because of their focus on women and people of color. To apply for their cohort, the founder or co-founder of the company must be a woman and/or person of color. 

The company also must be a for-profit enterprise in tech, or be tech-enabled.

DivInc's program lasts for 12 weeks. The program offers many promising benefits. Some of the perks include one-on-one coaching, weekly workshops, weekly mentor meetings, and free co-working space for 6 months.

Manos Accelerator

You might have already guessed it from the Spanish name. Manos Accelerator is a minority business accelerator that focuses solely on Latino entrepreneurs. They work with entrepreneurs from both the United States and from Latin American countries.

Manos Accelerator currently offers a 3-month virtual accelerator. This program provides one-on-one mentorship via video conferencing. This is an excellent option for Latino entrepreneurs in other countries. You may not have the funds or resources to attend a program in a specific U.S. city. 

Manos also offers a one-week intensive scale-up program in Silicon Valley.

Next Steps

We want to help you find the best accelerators, investors, and other opportunities to help your business thrive! Pitch us today to see how we can support you and your business. 


Worth a Read: 4 Small Business Loans To Consider

Sometimes you hit a wall on what you can accomplish on your own. We are not finance experts, and we're not going to give you financial advice, but we can point you towards some resources. One of those resources may be a loan.

There are many types of small business loans out there, and you need to know which one works best for your business. This post will give you some options.

Keep reading to learn about four small business loans you can apply for so you can push your company forward.

1. Business Line of Credit

If you are looking for flexibility, then a line of credit may be right up your alley.

It works similar to a cash advance on a credit card. It's a revolving loan.

The maximum amount of money you can withdraw will be based on your credit limit. Instead of receiving a lump sum of money, you draw down the amount you need.

After you get your money, you pay the borrowed amount down based on the repayment terms of your credit agreement.

2. Term Loan

A term loan is the conventional business loan you would expect from lenders. They offer you an upfront lump sum, and you pay it off over time, with interest.

If you have good credit and need a lot of funding, term loans are an excellent choice. You can borrow a lot and get reasonable terms with good credit and collateral.

3. SBA Loan

SBA loans are similar to term loans, but there are several differences you should know.

Like a term loan, you can borrow a large amount of cash and get it in a lump sum. But unlike term loans, SBA loans are backed by the government.

If you can't get a term loan, then an SBA loan may be possible for you.

The terms you get for your loan will depend on how you need to use the money. You can expect more extended repayment periods too.

4. Angel Investors

If you are looking for more than just money, then an angel investor might be for you.

Angel investing doesn't work like traditional loans.

The first difference is that you are taking money from an individual who is providing their own funds. You aren't receiving money from banks or firms.

These individuals typically require equity in your company for the investment. For this, you get the money you need and an advisor who is invested in the success of your company.

Angel investors usually have experience in the industry they are investing in. The contacts and knowledge they have can help you make your company a success.

Types of Small Business Loans: Final Thoughts

There are more types of small business loans out there, so don't stop here. You need to make the right choice, so you get the loan you need to help move your business to the next level.

You don't have to stick with the typical small business loans. If you have an idea, then reach out to an angel investment firm to pitch them your idea.

Click here to see what we have to offer and see if your team is a good fit for us!


Powerful Entrepreneurship Quotes to Keep You Motivated

Working as an entrepreneur can be one of the most rewarding endeavors. It can also be one of the most stressful.

However, there are plenty of successful entrepreneurs you can look to for motivation. 

Not sure where to start? Don't worry; we've got you covered.

Let's take a look at entrepreneurship quotes you can use to keep you motivated.

"If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life." -Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb

People often get too caught up in the concept of developing a product or service and find themselves overwhelmed with their potential options.

But, it's not as complicated as it may seem to create something for which people are willing to pay. If you solve a problem for people in your target audience, they'll be ready to make a purchase.

"It’s important to realize that brand is much more than a logo and slogan. A brand is who your company is: how you function and make decisions." -Joanna McFarland, Co-founder of HopSkipDrive

Brands need to have a life to succeed. They must have their personality, and people must be able to relate to them.

Things like humor, wit, and transparency go a long way in building that connection with your audience.

"Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey." -Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Malone

Without passion, you'll get burned out. Without creativity, you won't be able to find new solutions to old problems.

Without resilience, however, you'll never survive long enough as an entrepreneur to turn your vision into a reality.

"Only the paranoid survive." -Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel

This simple statement carries a lot of weight.

To thrive, you always need to anticipate that things won't go your way. And, you need to have a plan for when they do.

There's nothing wrong with being cautious as an entrepreneur. It's a necessary characteristic to make sure you succeed!

"People are the most important thing. Business model and product will follow if you have the right people." -Adam Neumann, Co-founder of WeWork

People come first. This means choosing the right audience. It also means putting together the right team.

As long as you know your customers and have a trustworthy group of people to support you and grow with, everything else will fall into place.

Always Keep These Entrepreneurship Quotes in Mind

Others have been down the same path you're going down, and learning from their entrepreneurship quotes can help you push through the darkest times.

Want to learn more about entrepreneurship and how to succeed? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!


Our Top 3 Small Business Grants Exclusively For Women

 

The world is full of successful female entrepreneurs, and if you stick to your gameplan, you just might find yourself on that list someday. 

The road to entrepreneurship is a tricky one, so you should capitalize on every opportunity that you can. In that regard, do your research to learn all about the many different small business grants for women you can take advantage of. 

Follow the points below to not only learn what grants are available, but what you need to do in order to apply. 

The Best Small Business Grants For Women

One of the first steps toward entrepreneurship is making sure that you have the money to get your business off the ground. 

Here are some of the best small business grants for women:

1. The Girl Boss Foundation

This grant has only been around for a few years and has already emerged as one of the top options available. It is open to women who work in art-centered fields like fashion, graphic design, and music. 

The foundation gives out grants of $15,000, two times per year. You need to be able to show your creative flair, in addition to a concept of what you would do with the money.  

2. Opportunities on Grants.gov

Grants.gov is a database that breaks down the many different grant opportunities available from the federal government. 

As such, you will need to go through a thorough application period and make sure that you get a 9-digit registration number. Grant opportunities are posted multiple times throughout the year, so once you register, make sure that you keep checking back for more information. 

3. The FedEx Small Business Initiative

This grant is issued each year to ten worthy small business owners. 

The prizes offered include grants that range between $7,500 and $25,000, in addition to thousands of dollars of free printing services through FedEx-Kinkos. As you can imagine, printing costs add up, especially when you're considering marketing materials. 

The printing prize alone is worth its weight in gold, making this one a must-apply for any female entrepreneurs looking to fund their enterprise. 

With all of these grants, you will need to make sure that you do your due diligence when applying, and make sure that you hit all of the deadlines. Since they are available each year, it doesn't hurt to apply to see if you can get some funding that might change your life!

Get in the Game of Business with These Grants

These small business grants for women are not only amazing -- they're available. 

All it takes to get them is a little bit of research and some serious initiative. Consider the points above to see which grants can make a difference in your business. 

From here, you're just a few steps away from applying and making the most of this opportunity. Use these grants to get an edge as you grow your business. 

For similar information on everything from black business ownership to investment pitches, stick around and check out more of our posts!


The Best Business Associations for Minority Small Business Owners

 

If you are hoping to succeed in any aspect of a business, never forget that relationships are everything. 

One of the best ways to build relationships in business is by joining organizations. There are several business associations that you can turn to in order to begin fostering these relationships. 

Consider the following to learn the best associations for minorities. 

1. The Small Business Association (SBA)

Without question, you need to have your foot in the door with the Small Business Association (SBA). 

This is a government agency that provides information, grants, and resources to small business owners all over the country. They also provide loan opportunities that can help you finance your business initiatives. 

Since the SBA has state and local chapters, you can link up with other minority business owners in your area to exchange notes and also participate in meetings and think tanks. 

2. Black Business Association (BBA)

You should also get to know the Black Business Association (BBA). 

This organization is all about supporting black business owners and black empowerment through entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and has 42 chapters all over the country. 

If you aren't in the Southern California area, make sure you check around for local chapters near you so that you can sign up and participate in upcoming meetings. 

3. The Chamber of Commerce in Your City

Never neglect the good old fashioned chamber of commerce. 

While chambers of commerce in municipalities throughout the United States aren't minority centered, they often have programs tailored for people of color. Even if not, this organization is a hotbed of information and relationships that you will want to foster throughout the years. 

They also offer classes and information that will help you learn how to become a business owner as a whole. 

4. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Finally, be sure that you look into this agency in order to see what sort of initiatives they are promoting and supporting. 

This agency is a part of the United States Department of Commerce and has a plethora of lending opportunities intended for small business owners. Whenever you need any sort of funding for your business, it pays to know someone within the MBDA. 

In addition to funding opportunities, the organization hosts meetings, and events that can help you get out and meet like-minded people that can become allies. 

Check out These Business Associations

Checking out these business associations provides an excellent start when you are trying to take some steps with your enterprise. 

As they say, it's not only what you know, but who you know. When you learn more about the organizations and associations that matter the most, it's easier to start reaching out and to put events from these organizations on your calendar on a regular basis. 

Don't be surprised if you notice an uptick in business and find yourself coming across more relationships than you thought possible after reaching out to these organizations. 

For more info on black business ownership and minority entrepreneurship, check out the rest of our posts. 



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