Startups or SMEs: Which One Should You Choose

Be it a startup founder or a small and medium sized business enterprise (SME) owner, often both experience the same hiccups and growth curves while setting up their business. In terms of their investment, or the lack of receiving corporate funding the stories narrated by the founders of a startup or an SME is often quite similar. While the experience in starting the business might be similar but the process of the funding mechanism, the journey from the idea of getting the operation commercial is quite different. Even the customer base for a startup company and an SME is quite different in most cases. So if someone is deciding to start a new business under, which category should you be putting it under startup or SME?

The Difference Between Startup and SMEs

In India, a startup business has been defined as a registered company/business that has been in existence for seven years or less. The annual turnover of the business cannot be more than Rs.25 crore in any of the years since it has been established. Other important criteria for qualifying as a startup is that the business must be work for developing and improving products, service or the process of service. The business should also have a model that has high growth potential and have the opportunity to generate high employment or accumulate wealth. Furthermore, the business should be innovative or work towards innovation.

SMEs are defined as small-scale units with plants and types of machinery that have an investment of Rs. 1 crore. But it is of utmost importance that the SME meets the condition of it not being a subsidiary of an industrial undertaking or controlled by it. This condition is put in place by the Government of India to ensure that the benefits given to SMEs are not availed by large corporates by setting up small subsidiaries.

With these differences between startups and SMEs, there are also a certain set of different benefits that each offer, based on that too one could decide, which one to opt for when starting a business.

Benefits of starting a Startup

Startups are quite a good economic boost for the Government of India. To ensure the flourishing of startups along with the Government of India, state and local governments are providing different benefits to the entrepreneurs and startup companies.

Registration can be done online by visiting on StartupIndia website
For startups as venture capital fund government has set up Rs.10,000 crores.
First three years the startups get tax exemption.
Startups are exempted from certain criteria when applying for government tenders.
Investors receive a tax exemption on the basis of venture funds established by the government.
Registering under startup includes tax exemption, patent protection and the financial assistance that are more flexible.
Benefits of SMEs

Benefits are given to SMEs for manufacturing certain products. This is for the purpose of creating competition and employment opportunities.
350 items are included under the Government Purchase Programme for the SME.
10 percent space for small-scale units is allocated and special economic zone (SEZ) is required to follow that.
There is the MSME Act that offers loans for upgrading of technology, skill and cluster development, tool rooms, competitiveness in manufacturing, creating energy efficiency products and improving product quality.
Any SME whose post-issue face value is not more than Rs.25 crores can receive exemption from the government of India. Also, there are other financial assistance offered to SMEs in relation to getting loan for their business.
If one registers under SME one can receive priority funding under the SME financing, the rate of interest is lower in such financing and direct tax and excise exemption.
The Government of India in 2018 also launched a new portal for helping SMEs with fast-track loans. This would enable the banks to provide loan approvals to entrepreneurs of Rs 1 crore within an hour. Also, the entrepreneur would not have to keep visiting branches to get the small business loan approval or the amount approved.
With all these benefits offered to entrepreneurs, there has been a significant rise in MSMEs. In early 2018 it was reported that over five million MSMEs have accessed formal credit and from Indian banks have live credit facilities.

Despite the similar experience that a startup owner and an SME owner might have had, there are quite a lot of differences in how they operate and how the government helps them out. Depending on those ones can decide which kind of setup would benefit them the most.

Why you should ditch the big banks and start using Credit Unions

If you found yourself complaining about the “Too Big To Fail Banks” and still have your money at one of the TBTF banks, then you, my friend, have lost the right to complain. If you want to remedy that, or if you simply want better rates, then a credit union is a fantastic almost-perfect substitute for a commercial bank.

The key difference between a credit union and a commercial bank is that the depositors and borrowers of a credit union are its shareholders. With a commercial bank, the shareholders are the owners of its public stock or investors in the corporation. When the credit union counts you as a shareholder, it gives you better rates on your deposits (high yield savings accounts may still offer higher rates) and better rates on your loans. Finally, credit unions are NCUA insured up to $250,000, just like commercial banks and the FDIC, so your money is safe.

The main trade off is that credit unions are smaller and so they lack the enormous geographic footprint of much larger banks.

So how do you find a good credit union? According to the website SimplePayday, credit unions are required by law to limit membership. The membership is generally limited to an association, such as your workplace, or a geographic region, a county or municipality.

Places to look:

Workplace: If your workplace is large enough, you may be able to find a credit union associated with your job. The credit union may service multiple employers, in order to get membership rolls up, but large employers may have their own. My former employer, Northrop Grumman Corporation, had its own namesake credit union.
Local Credit Union: Think about the last time you were driving around your local area, did you see any credit union branches? I often pass by a Tower Federal Credit Union, which services several counties in Maryland, and they are one that can offer membership based on where you live.
Search NCUA: If all else fails, you can use the NCUA’s Find a Credit Union search feature to locate one nearby. You can also use it to confirm that that a credit union is NCUA insured (Tower Federal Credit Union is charter number 8333 and it is Federally Insured).
Credit unions exist to help its members. Commercial banks exist to enrich their shareholders.

You read that right. Credit unions are unions that exist to help its members. That’s why they often have better interest rates on both loans and deposits. Commercial banks are businesses. Their sole purpose is to figure out how to make more money from its customers (you!). Interest rates are often very low (or nonexistent), loan rates are often competitive, and they always try to sell you new products because you are a customer. Credit unions, by law, have to have membership requirements. Credit unions are often tied to a geographic area or particular group, so as long as you qualify you can join. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union is one of the better known credit unions, because of their once mighty CD rates (still competitive if you look 3+ year terms), and if you weren’t active/retired military or worked in defense, you could be eligible to join just by joining the National Military Families Association. So there are membership rules, but there are ways around them and here are ten reasons why you should try to find a way:

Better interest rates on loans: At Tower Federal Credit Union, a credit union in Maryland, the current rate on a 60-month loan for a new car starts at 4.75% APR. At Bank of America, the nation’s largest commercial bank, the current rate on a 60-month loan for a new car starts at 4.95% APR.
Personal loans are more likely: The prospect of getting a personal loan at a credit union is much higher than at a commercial bank. In a theme that you’ll see repeated in many other reasons, credit union relationships are much stronger and so the likelihood of getting a personal loan is higher as non-financial factors are taken into consideration.
Better interest rates on deposits: At TFCU, the regular checking account earns 0.25% APY while the regular checking account at Bank of America earns nothing. While I wouldn’t recommend putting your savings in a checking account, the fact that you can earn something, while your money is waiting to be spent on regular bills, certainly beats earning nothing. The current savings account rate is 1.40% at TFCU versus 0.20% APY at BoA on the Regular Savings Account.
Lower fees: There are no minimum balance requirements at TFCU for their checking or savings account. At BoA, you need to keep at least $300 in your savings or have an automatic monthly transfer of $25+ to avoid a $3 fee. If you use a non-TFCU ATM, there’s a $0.75 fee; if you use a non-BoA ATM, that’ll be $2.
Fewer customers, better relationships: At a huge bank, you’re an account number. They see so many customers throughout the day that there isn’t really any opportunity to build relationships. At a smaller bank, you have a better chance to forge those relationships with the employees at that bank. Credit unions are often much smaller and naturally more conducive to this.
Fewer customers, you’re more important: How many customers does Bank of America have? Let’s say you want to get an erroneous fee removed, do you think it’s easier at your local credit union, where you’re one of a few thousand, or at Bank of America, where you’re one of a few (hundred?) million?
No call centers: Credit unions, and other smaller banks, often answer their own phones. Have a problem at a larger bank? You might call in and find yourself talking to someone at a call center. Call centers aren’t all bad though, they often get a bad reputation, but I prefer a bank employee over someone at a phone bank reading off a script.
You can be involved at a credit union: Did you know that the Board of Directors at a credit union is comprised of members who volunteer their time, are unpaid, and elected by the union membership? If you don’t like the direction your credit union is going, you have a say in it.
NCUA insurance: Just like commercial banks and their FDIC insurance, credit unions are protected with NCUA insurance. NCUA stands for the National Credit Union Administration and the NCUA insurance limits mirror that of the FDIC.
Less profit-driven, takes fewer risks: When you are beholden to shareholders and have the pressure to constantly generate bigger profits, you might be tempted to take greater risks. We see the fallout of that mentality today, with banks failing left and right. Credit unions aren’t immune to loan defaults but when you don’t feel the constant pressure to generate profit, you don’t take on those riskier loans. That leaves a healthier financial institution. To date, 25 commercial banks have failed in 2008 (including some of the biggest national banks), only 9 credit unions (with some being very small, like Meriden F.A. Federal Credit Union with ~$337,968 in assets).

Importance of Crowdfunding

You must need capital to begin and run a business, whatsoever the business is, and whichever the segments you target. Now one thing certainly comes up in your mind – FUND. Now the question is how do you accumulate the funds to purchase the inventory? How will you be able to start a marketing campaign, and set a shop up? Before diving deep into the actual topic, we like to tell you about CROWDFUNDING in a brief.

What Is Crowdfunding?

In the past few decades, the majority of businesses, small, medium or large have nearly relied on their trusted as well as immediate networks. Fundraisers might include a pawnbroker, an honest and charitable person, or often a local bank that lends money. There are few choices for those sans a mound of liquid money.

A few years earlier the conventional things had started to change slowly by slowly. Most of the artists as well as entrepreneurs started to get fund in little amounts from a large number of people, sometimes outside of their fixed network. In lieu of getting a big sum from a local back, entrepreneurs seek the fund directly from the general public, better to say from a large number of masses, often from known or unknown sources. As an outcome, you might have seen like 10,000 people providing $50 each in lieu of a $5,00,000 loan from a single local bank or a financier.

This is known as Crowdfunding. You can say it is a “small-small sum of money from many-many people”, in the country or outside of the country.

These days, most of the projects are funded on Crowdfunding platforms, the two most well-liked examples are IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.

The Importance of Crowdfunding for Startups

The importance of Crowdfunding is undeniable. It is essential for startups. Here, in this blog, we will tell you more about the essential of Crowdfunding for startups. If you are coming up with an in-demand product or service, or a new initiative, Crowdfunding is beyond the key to gauge the eyeballs. It helps you generate the massive awareness. Let us see the 3 major pros of Crowdfunding:

1. Validation of Product: Several questions that come up in mind while thinking of launching startup businesses are: Whether I create it, will people purchase it and so forth. Here Crowdfunding can be an essential way of positively answering the questions. With the help of a successful Crowdfunding campaign, not only you accumulate a big sum of money but also establish a huge consumer base. Furthermore, there would be a large number of consumers out there as you widen its reach.

2. Sidestepping the Conventional Gatekeepers: Financiers always see if a company, particularly a startup has a good shot of success and if it does not likely to go for a long term. Moreover, more often than not, they sometimes get it wrong, considering that the great number of startups backed by financiers fails. And if we go on the other way, we can say that you might not able to motivate other people about your business, but does not mean that your business will fail. Considering both the factors, if you pull off a good Crowdfunding, financiers who did dumb before may justify you next time.

3. Marketing with all-out Effort: A strong Crowdfunding can give you a high-stake time-frame to attain a particular fundraising objective. This can help you do a lot. Something like, establishing contacts, refining the presentations, sharpening the message, and all other things that you should be doing to magnify enough eyeballs.

Last, but certainly not the least, you must make sure that everything is in a proper way before you begin your campaign. A poorly-executed Crowdfunding attempt can leave you with WHAT IF and WHAT TO DO regret and push your product or service in the worst position that was earlier.

How to Sell Consulting – Discover 5 Amazing Methods to Sell Your Consulting Services

Selling your consulting services can be relatively easy as long as you follow these 5 amazing methods:

1. The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are considered the best in your chosen niche. People are most likely to sign up with your consulting services if they know that they will be working with the best. Establish your expertise by sharing a slice of your knowledge through article marketing, blogging, and by hosting free teleseminars. Also, create an online portfolio that contains your achievements, relevant educational background, trainings, experiences, and seminars. It would also help if you can use compelling testimonials of your previous customers and recommendations of other industry leaders.

2. Build a powerful website. Mark your online presence by building a powerful website. It must spell out integrity and professionalism. Have it designed by a professional website designer and load it up with valuable information that your potential clients would be happy to know about.

3. Traffic. There is no other way to generate leads for your consulting services than driving interested people to your website. You can do this through search engine optimization or the process of making your site search engine-friendly so it will come up on relevant searches. Promoting your website using article marketing, forum posting, social media marketing, blogging, video marketing, and ezine publishing will also help tremendously.

4. Offer free consulting services. Keep in mind that buyers have so many choices these days as the number of consultants have tripled in the last couple of months. To increase your chances of winning the business of your prospects, I recommend that you offer them with free consulting services. You don’t need to give them all the information and assistance they need; just enough to convince them that you are really good on what you do. This is the best way to give these people an assurance that you have the ability to fill their learning needs and that you can offer them great value for their money.

5. Referrals. Instead of hiring affiliate marketers, I recommend that you convince your satisfied customers to recommend you to their friends, family members, and colleagues. As these people have actual experience on your consulting services, they are most likely to sound more credible compare to affiliates. Reward these people with freebies or send them flowers with thank you note each time they bring business to your doorstep.

Healthcare Consulting – Announcing 5 Authentic Steps to Jump Start Your Career in Consulting

Physicians and other healthcare providers spend so much time in school learning how to make their patients well. They spend little or no time at all learning how to run a hospital or promote their services so they can attract clients and boost their earnings in the process.

If you have in-depth knowledge on this field and if you have background in running a business, you can start a career in healthcare consulting. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Learn from the experts. As you are just starting out in this field, it would work to your advantage if you can obtain insider tips from the experts or those people who have already made a mark in this arena. Their knowledge and contributions can surely help you get started on the right foot.

2. Experience counts. Although you don’t need to be a doctor or a nurse to become a healthcare consultant, it would help if you have even a brief background about their day-to-day job. I recommend that you apply as a volunteer to your local hospital for at least 3-6 months. The knowledge that you’ll obtain will surely be crucial when you finally start your career in healthcare consulting.

3. Qualifications. Of course you need to make sure that you have what it takes to become an effective healthcare consultant. Aside from relevant experience, you must also have attended relevant trainings and seminars. Based on your area of specialty, you need to have in-depth knowledge on marketing, budgeting, planning, resource management, hiring process, finance, information technology, operation management, and governance.

4. Get your prospects to sign up. If you are 100% sure that you are ready to take in clients, you can develop and execute an aggressive marketing campaign to sell yourself and your services. Depending on your target market, you can use the internet or traditional media to connect with your prospects. Make sure that you communicate the exact things you can do to help healthcare providers in reaching their goals. Sell yourself as someone very knowledgeable on your chosen niche to easily get your prospects to sign up.

5. Offer free consulting sessions. Most consultants today are offering free consulting sessions to their prospects to give these people an assurance that they are the right fit for a given project. Join the bandwagon and show your prospects what you’ve got that can help them to get where they would like to be in no time.

Consulting Companies – Announcing 5 Rewarding Steps to Grow Your Consulting Company

This article is for those owners of consulting companies who are looking for ways to grow their business by boosting their sign up rate and by positioning themselves as industry leaders or the best in their chosen niche. The following tips are for you:

1. Check on your competitors. Do your research online and type in the consulting service that you offer (IT consulting, business consulting, strategy consulting, etc.) and access the first 10 sites that come up on the search page results. These are your strongest competitors. Know what strategies they are using and the quality of service that they provide. You can hire third party researchers who can really dig deeper to get as much information as possible. You will need to know everything that these people are doing so you can easily create an action plan to outplay them.

2. Take feedback seriously. If your previous customers got issues with your service, make sure that you do something about it right away. The feedback of your clients are your best allies when identifying your weaknesses so don’t ignore them. Make necessary improvements and adjustments whenever you see fit — your customers will surely appreciate it.

3. Strive to offer 100% satisfaction. This is the best thing that you can do to secure more clients while you retain the old ones. You see, when you make your customers happy, they are most likely to come back. Not only that, they’ll also be happy to spread the word out. As word-of-mouth of advertising is still the best form of marketing, this can surely bring a lot of business on your doorstep. So, strive to give your clients everything that they are looking for and even more to easily impress them.

4. Plan a targeted and aggressive marketing campaign. One of the keys to boost your sign up rate is to promote easy recall among your target market. This can be achieved by simply planning and executing an aggressive and highly targeted marketing campaign. Use as many internet marketing tools as you can and form an effective marketing team that is an expert when it comes to connecting with your target market and in properly building up your offerings.

5. Offer free trial. Most people these days would like to have a guarantee that the consulting company is the right fit before they sign up. Help these people make that decision by giving them a sneak peek on your consulting services. Offer them 1-2 free sessions so they can gauge if you are really the best company that can offer them their learning needs.

Explaining What to Do is Consulting – Asking What Do You Think You Should Do is Coaching

Not all consultants are really business coaches and not all business coaches should be labeled consultants. The other day an associate of mine was good enough to explain to me that there is a big difference between a consultant and a coach. Which is something I’ve always said, as it seems these days everyone who is a laid off executive is now suddenly a consultant and coaches are the new buzz word so no one thinks you are out of work!

She corrected me and stated that consultants tell you how to do things and coaches ask you questions that help you come to the right decision of what to do and why? Kind of like Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else get your way. Of course, a really good consultant of ten years will tell you that the clientele often complains, because the consultant asks lots of questions reviews everything, looks in every nick and cranny and then tells them the obvious.

Indeed, clients often pay consultants a lot of money then are a little miffed afterwards and say; Why did we need him? Ah, the 64 million dollar question, yes, why did you need him? Why didn’t you just fix the problem yourself. See, I like to think a coach helps the team solve the problems in advance, allow them to answer their own questions, and attain the proper level of efficiency and win, without even telling them exactly what to do or how to do it. See that point, I hope you will think on it.

Marketing Consulting – 4 No-Brainer Ways to Make Money With Consulting For Marketing

If you are considered a walking marketing guru, you can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars by offering marketing consulting services. The key to boost your earnings is knowing how to improve your sign up rate. Here’s what you need to do:

1. The first thing that you need to do is to position yourself as an industry leader or the best in the field of marketing consulting. I wouldn’t lie about it but doing this can be challenging and it may take some time but rest assured that the end results are rewarding. You must be very visible on trade shows, expos, and online discussions. People must see your name on places where marketing consulting is seen. Your expertise must be sough for by people from all around the world.

2. Be more visible online. As you are a marketing consultant, it’s expected that you know how to market yourself and your services on the World Wide Web. People who are looking for marketing consultant must see your website or your name on top of the search page results. You must also be visible on relevant forums, discussion boards, and blogs. Use article marketing to generate more exposure online. Write articles that are closely relevant to marketing consulting and submit them to sites like It’s important that your articles are highly informative and contain data that only an expert like you would know to easily earn the trust of your target market.

3. Recommendations and testimonials. It would be better if you are not the only one saying that you are the best in this field. Your prospects will surely be enticed to work with you if you are highly recommended by industry leaders and your previous customers. This can happen by simply doing all your best each time you offer your services. You need to give your clients 100% satisfaction so they’ll be extremely happy. By doing this, these people will surely not mind helping you get the word out.

4. Offer freebies and discounts. Years of internet marketing experience has taught me that discounts and freebies are your best allies when capturing the attention of your target market. Offer part of your consulting services for free and give discounts especially to your first time clients. As these people are not yet sure if you are really what they need, it would help if you can give them incentives to influence their buying decision.

Frozen food – Yay or Nay?

Is frozen food good for you? This is a question that many people are asking these days. The answer to this question is not so simple. On the one hand, iced food can be a great way to save time and money in the kitchen. It can also be a healthier option than eating out at restaurants or ordering processed meals from the grocery store.

However,Guest Posting according to professional chefs in their elegant men’s and women’s chef coats and bib aprons, there are some potential negative impacts of using these types of consumables that you should be aware of before you make your decision.

The pros of frozen food

While the subject is quite debatable and is hotly discussed among many, there are certain pros to using meals that have been freeze processed. These include:

Convenience: They are incredibly convenient. You can buy it pre-packaged, and all you have to do is heat it up in the oven or microwave. This is a great option for busy families who don’t have time to cook from scratch every night.
Affordability: They are often cheaper than fresh items. This can be especially helpful if you are on a tight budget.
Nutrition: Freezing fruits and vegetables can retain their nutritional value just as fresh produce. In fact, some people believe that they are even more nutrient dense because freezing is done shortly after being picked. This means that the nutrients are not lost during transport or storage like they can be with fresh produce.
Saves time: As mentioned before, one of the biggest benefits of this type of meal is that it saves time. You don’t have to spend time grocery shopping or cooking. All you have to do is heat it up in the oven or microwave. This is a great option for busy families who don’t have time to cook from scratch every night.
Durability: They can be stored for a long time without going bad. This is especially helpful if you have a large family and can’t eat all the food before it goes bad. You can just freeze it and save it for later.
Cost efficient: It is often cheaper than fresh produce. This is because these products are mass produced, which drives down the cost.
Sustainable: Another benefit of this type of meal is that it is sustainable. By freezing partially prepared meals and produce, we are able to reduce wastage and save on resources such as energy and water.

The Best Window Coverings For The Man Cave

A man cave is a sacred space for men. It’s a place where they can relax and escape from the stresses of daily life. It’s also a place where they can indulge in their favourite hobbies and activities. If you are lucky enough to have a man cave, it’s important to make sure that the window treatments are right for the space.

Window treatments can play an important role in creating the perfect atmosphere for your man cave. The best window treatments will depend on your individual needs and preferences,Guest Posting but some options worth considering include blinds, shades, curtains, and drapes.

Curtains: Choose a heavy fabric that will block out most of the light and provide privacy.

Curtains in Sydney are a great option for a man cave, especially since there are so many options in terms of fabrics, textures, colours and prints. A man cave is all about comfort and relaxation, so choose a heavy fabric that will block out most of the light and provide privacy.

Fabrics such as velvet or chenille will be perfect, and you can even choose a fun print or pattern to add some personality to the space. Be sure to hang curtains high enough so that they don’t interfere with the activities taking place in the man cave.

Blinds are another great option for window coverings for a man cave, and some suitable types of blinds include:

Roller blinds: these are perfect for man caves as they can be pulled up to let in natural light or lowered to provide privacy and darkness. They come in a range of colours and textures, so you can find the perfect match for your man cave.
Vertical blinds: these are also great for man caves as they can be drawn to one side or the other, depending on whether you want more light coming into the space or not. Vertical blinds in Sydney: Honeycomb Blinds in Sydney come in a range of materials and textures too, so you can find the perfect ones for your needs.
Wooden Venetian blinds: Wooden Venetian blinds are a classic choice and will give your man cave a warm and rustic feel. You can get them in a range of colours and finishes to match your existing décor. Wooden blinds are a classic choice that can be stained or painted to match any colour scheme of the man cave. They provide privacy and can be opened to allow natural light to enter or closed for darkness.

Shades are very similar to blinds and come in a range of materials, colours, and styles. They are a good choice for the man cave as they provide privacy and can be opened or closed to control light levels.

There are several different types of shades available, including vertical, Roman, honeycomb, and roller shades. Roller shades are a great option for the man cave as they come in a wide variety of textures and patterns that can add some interest to the space.

Wooden shutters offer a traditional look and can be opened or closed to control the amount of light and air coming into the room. They are a good choice for the man cave as they can be customised to match the décor of the space.

PVC plantation shutters are an especially good option as they are durable and easy to clean. They are also moisture and heat resistant, making them a good choice for the man cave. Shutters can be made in any texture you like, especially faux wood shutters, to give your man cave a unique look.

Fabric Panels Fabric panels can be hung from the ceiling or attached to the wall to create a unique look for your man cave. Panel glides are a very popular type of fabric panel. They are made of two panels of fabric that overlap and slide along a track, allowing you to adjust them as needed.

Panel glides come in a variety of fabrics and colours, so you can find the perfect ones for your man cave. They also provide privacy and insulation from the cold or heat. You can also get them made in prints to match the interior of your man cave.

When it comes to a man cave, it is important to decorate it according to your personal style and preferences. This means choosing the right window treatments is essential. You also need to consider the cost. If you don’t want to spend a lot on your window treatments, then panel glides are a great option. They’re affordable and can be easily installed by yourself.

Other window treatments that might work well in a man cave include roller shades, roman shades, or wood blinds. However, it ultimately depends on your individual preferences and the look you are going for in your man cave. Make sure to take into account the size of the room as well as any special features (such as a large window or a bay window). With so many options available, it’s easy to find the perfect window treatments for your man cave!

So, whether you are looking for ways to let in natural light or darken the space, there are plenty of window treatments that will work perfectly for your man cave. So, why not take a look at some of these options and see what would work best for you?