Business Ideas

How You Can Fund Your Businesses’ Expansion Plans

Once you’ve started a business, you may be surprised how quickly it grows, and a couple of years in, it might be time for you to expand. Whether it’s bringing on new clients or making a bigger product range, there are lots of different ways that you can expand your business. The problem is, it often takes a monetary investment to get where you need to be, and it can be hard to know how to fund it. Here are some suggestions to help you fund a business expansion.

Ask for help from family and friends

It’s not always feasible to do so, but some business owners get help to start their business from family and friends. Of course, this has some downsides, notably that it can ruin relationships if you don’t pay them back. You need to be confident that you’ll be able to return their investment. Also, unless you are friends with millionaires, family are likely to be limited in what they can lend you.

Fund it yourself

There are a few options for self-funding a business expansion:

  • Selling equipment or un-needed items you no longer use
  • Working part-time while building your business
  • Managing your cashflow to release funds you need
  • Using your savings

Some of these options are risky. For example, using personal funds to put into your business could potentially leave you out of pocket. You have to be very confident when self-funding.

Take out a loan

By far the most popular option among business owners is to take out a loan to develop their business. If you own assets, then secured business loans are an excellent choice, as they tend to have a low APR, and high acceptance rate. Of course, you should always be cautious when borrowing. You need to ensure you can pay it back without struggling financially, and that you can make the repayments on time, otherwise, you may end up with bad credit.

Many businesses find they need a financial boost at one point or another. A monetary investment can pay off in the long term, and the good news is that there are lots of options available to get cash into your business. It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of each one and deciding which one will work best for you. If you aren’t sure which option to go for, consider getting independent financial advice, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.

Business Ideas

5 Best Practices for YouTube Video Ads

These are the best times to be a marketer, and these are the worst times to be a marketer! Why are these the best times? The sheer variety of platforms available to you as a marketer was unimaginable, even a few years ago. Whether you work with traditional media – newspaper, radio, television or include the latest digital platforms – blog sites, social media channels; the options are simply unlimited.

As every savvy marketer knows, focusing on any one medium doesn’t work anymore. And that brings us to the point that these are the worst of times to be a marketer. The opportunities that these platforms present can quickly become daunting. Keeping up with each platform and its specific requirements can drive anyone crazy. What then is the way out?

The best bet for any marketer in these times is to have a healthy mix of traditional and digital mediums in their marketing communication. While most people have experience with traditional mediums, the audience increasingly prefers digital modes. For example – a user these days is more likely to watch YouTube ads as compared to TVCs.

How, then, do you ace your game with this particular medium? Digital marketing is a vast field and needs a lot of detail. However, here, we have put together some best practices for managing YouTube ads that can give a much-needed boost to your marketing strategy. Before getting into it, though, you need to understand why YouTube ads are so important for your marketing mix.

Being a platform dedicated to videos, YouTube provides an immersive experience to users. When a user needs any information, they prefer to search a video of the same over text. Thus, YouTube is not just a platform for playing videos. It is also one of the largest search engines. This can lead to increased organic traffic for your brand if you can leverage YouTube ads. With that background, let’s look at some of the best practices for YouTube ads.

1. Grab attention

When a user searches a video on YouTube, they are looking for something specific. In such a scenario, they may find your YouTube ads distracting. They may have the option to skip the ad in a few seconds or not, but they are not here for the ad. That is the situation you have to begin with. The biggest challenge is to get them interested in this short duration. Thus, your YouTube ads need to be much crisper than your TVC.

The longer duration you take for story building, the faster you may lose the audience. Thus, the first few seconds are crucial in YouTube ads. The beginning has to be so interesting that the user does not skip your ad. And even if they do, they should come back to check out the full ad later. There is ample scope for creativity utilizing the visual space to present your brand in this short timeline. Experts recommend that your YouTube ads should capture the audience’s attention within the first seven seconds for better engagement.

2. Keep it short and interesting

So, you managed to capture the attention of your audience with your YouTube ads. Great! Now what? They certainly had not come with the intention of watching your advertisement. Yet, they are ready to spend their time watching the ad. The most important thing you can do is be mindful of their time and have shorter ads.

You can have 60 seconds or longer YouTube ads. But the recommendation by experts is to keep them within the 15 to 30 seconds timeframe. This is respectful to the audience as well as sufficient time to tell your story. And if you can interestingly convey your message within 30 seconds, your YouTube ads have done their job well. The longer ads should be created for the users who search for your brand to watch these ads.

3. Present your brand story

When you have successfully captured your audience’s attention, you must effectively present the brand story. Crisp storytelling is a prerequisite for YouTube ads. Be creative in how you want to achieve this. Put up visual cues of your brand – packaging, interface, taglines within the storyline. Have your logo placed prominently and yet unobtrusively throughout the video. Make the voice-over repeat the benefits of your brand. There are so many ways to achieve brand placement. The ultimate aim of every ad, including YouTube ads, is to ensure a better brand recall by the audience.

4. Mobile-first is the way to go

This is another paradigm shift in user behavior that every marketer must be aware of. More and more users are watching the videos and the ads on their mobile devices. So, your YouTube ads must be created, keeping this fact in mind. Yes, having them play on laptops and desktops is important.

But you need to ensure that your YouTube ads are optimized for mobile viewing. This includes testing the creatives in different mobile resolutions and browsers before releasing them for a live audience. You may also experiment with the placement of elements like logos, text, links, etc., within the YouTube adsand then check the audience engagement. The engagement is generally higher for audiences using mobile devices. Thus, mobile-first should be the mantra when creating and editing YouTube ads.

5. Drive user action

Having higher engagement rates and views may be good if that is the outcome you want to drive with your YouTube ads. However, if you want your audience to take action, like subscribing to your channel, visiting your website, or purchasing an item after watching your ad, you need to tell them so explicitly. The basic idea behind putting time, effort, energy, and money into YouTube ads is to drive user action.

So, go ahead and include the proper CTA in the ad. Make it a part of the video as well as the audio to emphasize the same. There are many online video editing tools available that make adding these elements in a video simple. However, these should be a seamless part of the ad and not feel forcefully fitted.

The first thing you need to do when working on YouTube ads is to articulate their purpose. Having a clear idea of the desired outcome, all you need to do is take care of a few points – and you will be amazed at the engagement you get on the platform. Having a powerful brand recall is the ultimate aim of any marketer. YouTube ads are a perfect vehicle to achieve this with little effort and creativity.

Business Ideas

The Newbie Freelancer’s Getting Started Checklist

Thinking of starting a freelance career? Here’s everything you need to know in the ultimate newbie freelancer’s getting started checklist

Starting as a freelancer is an exciting time. You’ll have the opportunity to take control over your career and open the door to new projects and income possibilities.

However, to be successful as a newbie freelancer, you need structure and planning. You’re making the transition from being an employee to running a business, even if that business is just yourself. Use this newbie freelancer’s getting started checklist to guide the process and set yourself up for success.

Create a Detailed Plan of Attack

Even though your freelancing business is just you sitting at a desk, you should take the time to create a plan of attack. Clarifying your business strategy and setting revenue and action goals can help you kickstart your business into gear.

  1. Your Business Plan

A business plan will be the foundation of your freelancing career. While many freelancers become successful without a business plan, it’s a powerful document that can help you stay on course.

A business plan should outline everything from the services you’ll be offering to your financial requirements. If you need to invest in some automation tools and a new laptop, those purchases should be outlined in your plan.

Working through your business plan is also an exploration of the marketplace. This exercise encourages you to take a look at the competition and your potential clients to get a better idea of the opportunity.

2. Identifying Your Niche

Even if you decide to skip the more extensive business plan process, it’s integral that you identify your niche. During this exercise, you’ll identify your ideal customer, which will shape your approach to freelancing. Consider some of these questions when identifying your niche:

  • What skills or experience do you currently have?
  • What topic interests you?
  • Are you targeting a general blogging audience or a B2B content audience?
  • If you’re targeting business audiences, what size and business format make up your ideal client?
  • Are there specific demographics to keep in mind (i.e., women-owned businesses)?

Look at a few sites or businesses that inspire you and would be your dream project. Write down what you like about them, from their tone to their area of expertise. Niching down to create an ideal client profile will help you shape your tone and branding.

3. Building a Brand Identity

Your brand is about more than colors and logos— it’s about how you connect with potential clients. Your brand identity is the aspect of your overall brand that pertains to imagery. Work with a designer to create a basic brand identity by which contacts will recognize you. Consider colors and typography that appeal to your niche, rather than just what you like.

Set Up Your Banking

One of the biggest challenges many entrepreneurs and freelancers face is banking and money management. It may not seem like a big deal in the early days, but separating personal and business finances are essential for long-term success. Additionally, that layer of separation assists with tax preparation and audit prevention.

  1. Choosing a Banking Service

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a banking provider that has experience with entrepreneurs and freelancers. As a freelancer, you’ll have nuanced needs when it comes to billing and mobility. Look to a provider like that can help you navigate this process.

2. Tax Preparation and Submission

Tracking your expenses and income as the year goes on is a must for freelancers. Getting audited can derail your business and cause lasting issues. Plan to set aside time each month to organize your paperwork. Consider working with an accountant to help ensure you’re claiming everything you can. Pro tip: hiring an accountant is a claimable tax expense.

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Create an Online Presence

Having an online presence is a quintessential aspect of being a freelancer. It’s how you build a reputation and gain social proof while networking to find clients. There are two aspects to building an online presence: a website and social media.

  1. Building a Website

Having a website is a must for the modern freelancer. It’s a fantastic place to showcase your samples, post content, and build trust with potential clients.

Building a website can be a time-consuming process. Keep it simple with a one-pager that shows your best work, your bio, and an easy way to get in contact.

2. Setting Up Social Media

Being active on social media will help you expand your reach and take advantage of the online network. When setting up social media profiles, the goal is to create consistency across all platforms. Use the same profile photo so that your audience knows that they’ve found the right place.

You can use social media to share your own content and curated content to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Build a Portfolio

When potential clients are looking for a freelancer, they’ll want to review samples of your work. For new freelancers, finding samples can be a challenge.

  1. Collecting Samples

Start by creating articles in word documents to showcase your skills. You can use unpublished samples to reach out to a few unpaid publications in your niche to get a foothold. Once you have published pieces, you can link to these rather than using unpublished attachments.

2. Showcasing Your Best Work

As you continue to build a portfolio and build out your samples, you can start to be selective in what pieces you showcase. Rather than proving that you have published works, your goal will be to highlight your best pieces— the ones that sell your skills.

3. The Freelancer Resume

Some clients will ask for a resume outlining your skills and experience. As such, it’s worth having a basic document that you can use as a template for these situations. A freelancer resume should outline your previous experience, relevant skills, and links to your best work.

Create a Pitch List

Setting revenue goals is an important part of the freelancing process. However, you need to have a process for accomplishing those goals. The solution is drafting a pitch list.

Write a list of potential clients that you want to reach out to. Set a daily target and start making contact. This pitch list could include cold-calling, applying to posted gigs, or a combination of each. Create a pitching template to help expedite the process, tweaking it as needed.

Don’t forget to set a date each week to follow up. Sometimes it’s the enthusiasm and determination that set you apart from the competition in the eyes of an editor or hiring manager.

Use this list to launch your freelancing business, and you’ll be welcoming paying clients in no time!

Wendy Dessler

Outreach manager

Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition

Business Ideas

How To Invest Money?

Most of us are hard-working people and we make some money. And usually, we have some live savings. But in the modern, fast-changing world we all ask the question “How to invest money in a safe and/or profitable way?”. At least, I do.

Ok, there is no simple answer here. There is no best way to invest money. The review is not written for that purpose except to list out the available options.

The purpose of this article is to summarize most popular investments, their advantages, and possible risks. But please remember – your investment should be based on your decisions only!


What is an investment? How to invest money?


First – let’s define what is an investment. For me, investment is an expense (money or time) today which will benefit your account in future. It can increase your income or decrease your expenses.

Buying a car is not an investment. It is an expense. Fashion clothes are not an investment also. Fancy trips to exotic countries…..I think you got the idea.

Buying an own house is NOT an investment. At least for me. The place you live in is an expense. No matter if you own it or rent it. You got to pay – rent or taxes/repairs.
Investment is something that possibly will make you richer. But it is not something sure.

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Invest in yourself

How to invest money in yourself? Pretty easy. There are two ways – investing to cut expenses and to gain profits.

Cut expenses

Well, the worse expenses you can possibly have are the health expenses. So you can invest some time to improve your health. Fitness and active living can really help you. And a cooking course. I mean it – cooking for yourself is time-consuming (investment) but it is much better than eating junk foods.

Do not live in your car – make a walk, do I bicycle, move your… get the idea.

And a cooking course. I mean it – cooking for yourself is time-consuming (investment) but it is much better than eating junk foods.

The other major expenses are for living and transport. It is simple here – find a good place to live but let it be affordable, use an economic transport – a normal car or a public transport, do not buy a villa you are visiting once per year.

Increase your income


This is one is pretty easy – education. OK, I do not mean only some expensive universities. No, it is not a bad idea to have a college background. But it is something obvious, very time-consuming, and very expensive.

You can increase your competence with courses and prove it with certificates. It is faster and cheaper. There are many useful business courses you can take and improve your skills.

Learn a foreign language, or two if you are in Europe.

Check the cutting edge technologies – bio foods, recycling, IT breakthroughs, new energy sources – it is good to be familiar with some of them. It will be good for your career, small business, or investments.

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Bank deposit and government bonds


These are one of the safest …..let say investments. I really wonder if these two are investments because usually the inflation beats their interests.

And it should be like that. For me, the economy is fine if inflation is between deposit bank rates and credit rates.

Why? because inflation is something that pushes your economic activity. Playing save comes with a price.

In any case, I do not mean that having a bank saving account or government bond is something bad. Not at all. But you will lose in the long run.

Bank deposit

So, the advantage of a bank saving account is safety, disadvantages are inflation and bank bankruptcy. Usually, some countries cover small banking accounts in order to stop a bank run and panic. In case you want to hold a big amount of money in the bank, find a bank that offers standard banking services and does not use complicated financial instruments which can cause a risk.

Bear in mind that you can hire a bank security box. In a case of bank bankruptcy, your box is considered as a personal belonging and you can take what is inside. But you will get no interest at all.

Government bond

The advantage of the government bonds is safety (even safe than bank deposit), especially in times of a crisis. Well, it really depends on the country. I mean obviously, US, EU, Japan government bonds are safe. And your return is predictable. The disadvantages – low rates for safety countries, and a high risk for non-safe countries.

The disadvantages – low rates for safety countries, and a high risk for non-safe countries.

In any case, if you are not sure how to invest money, bank deposit and US/EU bonds are a good solution.

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Gold & Jewellery & Arts

Precious Metals


Precious metals – gold, silver, platinum are an option for investment. There are 2 ways of investment in them.

First, you can buy gold or another precious metal certificate. Which is a good way not to keep actual physical metal. Just bear in mind that a certain risk exist. For example, gold certificates were forbidden in the USA for decades.

Second, you can actually buy precious metal bars and coins. Just store in a bank security box, not in your basement. But in fact, gold buried in your backyard is maybe the safest “investment”. A millennium guarantee.

In any case, the prices of the precious metals are moving up and down. It is good to buy at the correct moment. Usually precious metals are cheaper at the end of a successful economic circle. And higher during a crisis. But there is no 100% proved recipe.


A nice gift but a nice way to keep value. As it said – “Diamonds are the girls best friends”.

So they are quite safe but when you buy jewelry usually you pay VAT. 10-20% tax is not something sweet.

But in any case, they are a good present. Not fading like flowers thou.


Arts are an option for investment due to many reasons. Mainly ancient Egyptians or Van Gogh will not start crafting again, right?

In any case, arts are riskier than precious metal. You need a place to store them. Sometimes a bank security box is just not enough. And usually, they are expensive.

And you need to know the market. To read constantly, to check new art trends, etc. Anyway if you like arts you can invest some amount there.

You can check Christies and Sothebys – the best place for online art trading.

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Make own small business


To make an own business you need to answer to something more than “How to invest money?”.

Own business needs engagement. You need to spend time, efforts…and yes money also.

OK, there a couple of options, and once again there is no “best” option.

I will share a couple of ideas but this is not a full guide and there are much more than them

  1. If you are a specialist in some business area you can start as beeing consultant.
  2. You can find a niche. You know corporations took most of the “big” business areas, but niches always exist.
  3. Hand-crafting skills are always a good source for business.
  4. Online business is always an option.
  5. Beeing mediator is a good area also.
  6. Entertaining business
  7. Cooking
  8. Technical support
  9. Bio food expert
  10. …and more

Just check business new trends. They will show you in what to invest in your time (education needed, skills, etc). And find your niche.

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Mutual Funds


When you are not sure how to invest money, Mutual funds are also an option.

They are enterprises which collect money from many investors and invest in stocks, bonds, futures, and other market instruments.

In short, mutual funds – these are experts who take care of other people’s money.

And as everything else, the have advantages and disadvantages.

Mutual fund advantages:

OK, they are professional traders, they are constantly involved in the stock market, they have some internal information about shares, bonds, futures.

Investing in a mutual fund is quite safe. You still can lose money but definitely all of them. They can offer

They can offer a wide range of financial products – riskier, safer, etc.

Mutual fund disadvantages:

OK, there is no billionaire who makes his money from a mutual fund. They invest your money – which means that they care lesser.

Mutual funds charge you. Some of them made unnecessary trades just to take fees.

Sometimes you have to pay additional taxes (depending on your country).

So, there are pros and cons. But in any case, mutual funds are a good option for a part of your money. And when you are still not enough confident in your financial or business skills.

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Real Estate


Real estate investments are one of the most popular investment options.

In fact, you do not need extremely high financial education to invest in real estate.

But that does not mean that real estate investment is always profitable. You need to consider many parameters – locations, economy growth, interests, rents, etc.

Advantages – the major advantage of real estate is that you have something “physical” which is difficult to lose. You have two sources of profit – rents and capitalization (higher price after a period). There are different real estate investment options – houses, flats, land, commercial areas, etc. It is easier to find credit for such investment because the banks like mortgage loans.

Disadvantages – price. You need to put a high amount of money in real estate investment. If you need money fast, it will be more difficult to sell real estate. You will need to pay taxes. And to take care of your property.

There are some other options – you can buy shares from companies which operate on the real estate market. Or you can buy real estate derivates – for example, a part of other people real estate investment.

In any case, if you have a nice amount of money and do not have a serious financial background, real estate investment can be an answer to the question “How to invest money”?

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Shares & stock market


When it comes to investment, financial market, profit, how to invest money, the first thing that comes to me are the screaming brokers and traders in their strange rooms.

Well, the reality is far more prosaic. I mean if you want to trade shares or another financial instrument you will sit at home in front of your PC.

OK, first things first – what are stocks? Stocks are units of ownership. You actually become an owner (minor shareholder of the company you invest in. This does not mean that you will manage the company :).

There are different types of stocks which I am not going to explain but you can check Investopedia for more information. In any case, you can benefit from your stocks in two major way – if stock prices are increasing or if the company provide a dividend.

You do not need many things to start trading stocks. You need a contract with a licensed broker, money, stock trading software (brokers usually give advice), PC with an online connection.

You can basically buy stocks if you think that the company and/or market will grow or “short” stock if you think that the company and/or the market will decline. In any case, you can benefit from each market trend. If you guess it.

Well guessing the trend is the difficult part. OK, there are two types of main analysis which can help – fundamental and technical.

  • Fundamental analysis – the base of this analysis is the companies’ financial statements. The fundamentalists analyze the balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, and other docs. And they are trying to understand what is the real value of the stocks based on them. If they find underestimated shares, they usually buy them.
  • Technical analysis – the base of technical analysis is the charts. Usually, technical experts try to forecast future stock price movements based on past data. These experts analyze different chart indicators as RSI, MACD, Moving average, etc in order to find underestimate shares.

Once again there is no best solution. My personal opinion is that if you want to have long-time investments it is better to select fundamental analysis. But if you want to make frequent trades may be technical analysis will fit you.

And please, think about future also. There are always new growing trends.

There are many stock markets you can trade but here is the list of the major ones:

  • New York Stock Exchange – one of the most important and respected stock markets. Most of the biggest companies in the World are traded there. Official site – NYSE.
  • NASDAQ – this stock exchange is specialized in trading stocks of IT and engineering companies. Most of the major players from the digital world are listed there. Official site – NASDAQ.
  • London Stock Exchange – the largest stock exchange in Europe. Official site – LSE.
  • Japan Exchange Group – the biggest stock exchange in Asia. Official site – JEX.

There are many local stock exchanges which can provide good options also.

At the end let me summarize the advantages and disadvantages of stock trading.

Advantages – there are many options for investment, the market is fast, you can sell any time (or buy), you can benefit from both – price ups and dividends, you can have fast profit.

Disadvantages – you can lose money. Fast. You need some training, basic financial education. You need to watch the market, to be interested in your company and its competitors. To keep an eye for scientific break-troughs.

In any case buying stock of the companies you know well (management, products, markets) can be a good answer to the question “How to invest money?”.

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Commodities & Futures


Commodities are goods which are traded on different exchanges. Usually, they are resources with equal or very similar physical qualities.

The four main groups of commodities are:

  • Energy – including oil, gas, etc
  • Metals – iron, copper, zinc, etc
  • Live Stock and Meat
  • Agricultural – corn, rice, wheat, etc

Futures (or future contracts) are very closely related to commodities. Futures oblige buyer to buy commodities or seller to sell at a predetermined future date and price.

What does it mean? It means that if you are part of the future contract you can make a large profit or loss. You really need to pay attention to economic growth, supply and demands, scientific break-troughs, even weather.

The future contract trading is usually riskier than the stock trade in short terms.

From the other hand, commodities can be a nice way for long term investment. I mean obviously, people we keep eating meat or wheat. So f you constantly buying future contracts (especially in food) you can save a nice amount of money and not be afraid of a bankruptcy.

The best place you can trade commodities are:

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)
  • Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)
  • New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)
  • London Metal Exchange (LME)

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Options are contracts for rights or obligations and provide:

  • Right to buy stock, commodities, currencies at a predetermined price (Long call)
  • Right to sell stock, commodities, currencies at a predetermined price (Long put)
  • Obligation to buy stock, commodities, currencies at a predetermined price (Short put)
  • Obligation to sell stock, commodities, currencies at a predetermined price (Short call)

All options are time bound. They have an expiration date.
All options have a strike price at which they can be executed.

When you want “rights” you need to buy them and to pay a premium. If the underlying stock, commodities, currencies does not move in the desired direction you will lose only the premium. If it does move in the desired direction you can have profit. The more underlying price move in your direction – the better.

When you take the “obligation” you win the premium. But if the underlying price moves against you – you can lose a massive amount of money.

Options can provide enormous flexibility in your position but they are risky. So if you are a beginner you can:

  • Buy only rights (long calls, long puts)
  • If you write on an obligation (short call, short put) own the underlying stock. For example you have 1000 shares – you can write 10 options (1 option cover 100 pieces of shares). In this case, you can lose only the difference between the share price and the strike price.
  • Use opposite options – for example, buy rights and sell obligations for one and the same underlying assets.

In any case, options are not long-time investments because they are time-bound, and they are risky.

On the other hand, they can provide you with great flexibility. Just be very careful and if you are not professional trader use simple options strategies. Covered call and protective put (google them) for example are great strategies for beginners.

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How not to invest money

There are some tools and things I do not recommend when it comes to the question “How to invest money?”. Please, bear in mind this is my personal opinion.


Forex is a decentralized exchange currency market. I avoid it. I mean if you trade too often (scalping) the “pips” for brokers will eat your profit. If you don’t the interest for the leverage amount will be against you.

If you think, that a currency will go in certain direction use options.

Relatives & Friends

Be careful with them. Not only because of the money but because of the family problems, also.

Illegal Operations

They do not worth in the long run. Search for legal opportunities. There enough options to decrease your taxes in a legal way.

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So this is my short review of the most popular investments. I hope that this short guide will help you with its information for the financial world.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to write a comment.