Tag Archives: small business

A “Crazy” Idea: Instead of College Loans, Fund an 18 Year Old’s Small Business Idea

I received a tweet from Forbes magazine today that says the United States is now $1.2 trillion in tuition debt. People are taking out college loans for students at an alarming rate.

In light of these startling stats, I think it’s time we got off of the “gotta go to college at 18” train for a moment and start seriously considering alternative ideas .

Parents in Debt

Pocket Watch And Five Dollar Bills
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Parents are going into serious debt to help fund their kids’ college education. Many of them still have this debt at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond. Some of them are literally *dying* burdened with this debt.

Then the cycle continues with their children, who also find themselves in debt with private and public loans. When their kids’ kids reach 18 they will also feel the pressure to take out tuition loans. Then those kids will have to go through life with this great burden. And so on and so forth.

I believe the main source of this grief is colleges, who keep increasing their tuition costs year after year because they know how easy it is for parents and students to get these college loans. They should be ashamed at how they are sucking families dry, but as corporations they are mostly concerned with making their shareholders as wealthy as possible, so they’re not ashamed one bit.

The only real answer is for the general public to get off that merry-go-round ride that tells us we have to do whatever possible to send kids to college at the age of 18.

A New Idea (“Crazy” Talk)
So here’s a new “crazy” idea for parents to consider for their 18-year olds:

– Save as much money as you can from the time your child is a baby if possible. Even if you put just $30 per month into a savings fund earning 6% per year your child can have at least $12,000 saved in an account by the time she’s 18.

– Enroll your 14-year-old child into a local or nearby entrepreneur school or take him to an SBDC center to learn about entrepreneurship. Ensure that the child attends classes at least once every month up until he is 18 and starts running a business by 16.

– At age 18 give the child a choice: 1) take the money you have saved to put toward a college education 2) put it toward his business or 3) put half toward starting a small business and the other half toward going to college in the near future.

– Encourage, promote and fund self-education for your child (books, audiobooks, courses) while she’s in high school about her industry of interest, marketing, sales and general self-improvement concepts.

– If the child chooses option 2 or 3, encourage and assist her with growing her small business so that in 2-3 years she is making enough income from it (still living with you) to afford to pay for her college education. Every dollar of profit she earns from running her business should go toward a fund to help pay for her education.

– After 3 years has passed, the child can still enroll in college if she chooses. She may even decide at that point that college isn’t that important because of the success of her small business, which she can run and maintain for as long as she wishes.

Here are the benefits of this “crazy” idea:

– You teach your child from a young age about entrepreneurship. You also teach her from age 14 that going to college at 18 doesn’t have to be her only choice for success.

– You teach your child from a young age that she doesn’t have to go along with the “crowd” (all you have to do is show her what the “crowd” is doing when they’re 40,50, and 60 years old and still knee-deep in debt).

– Your child still has the option to go to college if he wants, if only for having a chance to live the “college experience.”

– You jump-start your child’s future, giving her a real shot at becoming a millionaire instead of limiting her mind to being happy with a $35,000 per year 40 hour, 9-5 job for the rest of her life.

– You give your child the opportunity to avoid being burdened by large amounts of debt at a young age

– YOU avoid being in debt with college loans for your child until you’re 100

Also, if enough people were to take this or a similar route for educating 18-year-old kids, colleges would eventually be forced to reduce or plateau their tuition costs just to stay in business.

College Loans for Students – Something to Think About
This may not be a perfect alternative for every case, but it’s something to think about, right?

Remember that high school education is a necessity but a college education is not (unless your child is determined to become a doctor, lawyer or engineer). Ask Bill Gates and most of the country’s self-made millionaires.

Parents of today who have already taken out college loans for students may have to deal with this great tuition crisis, but we can start making changes today so that young children don’t have to go through the same situation. Giving your child an education in how to be financially independent and run his own business is just as valuable if not more than a basic college education.


Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant, small biz owner and author.


Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

When Starting a Small Business Family Members Can Be Your Worst Opposition

Woman talking by phone
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When you’re starting a small business, you might assume that your family members will be your staunchest advocates. Surely they’ll be the first in line to buy your stuff and give you a positive review. Surely they’ll call you up and say “congratulations.” Surely they’ll call and offer you some assistance to help your business grow…

But a lot of new small business owners (myself included) have a very, very different experience. In fact, the reaction from family members when you’re starting a small business can be downright cold!

Resisting the Negativity

If you find yourself in this type of predicament, your biggest challenge is going to be overcoming the negative thoughts, beliefs, words and actions of your family members. These are the people who know you best, so they also know how to really hurt your feelings if they really want to. You can probably think of one person in particular right now who seems to get a kick out of annoying or hurting your feelings.

Listen up: you have to do whatever you have to do to stay motivated to achieve your goals. If that means that you have to separate from your family members for a while, then so be it.

Second tip: that person in your family who gets a kick out of seeing you down and out? Don’t tell him or her anything about what you’re planning to do.

Third tip: Understand that when someone reacts negatively to you trying to better you life, it’s because they’re unsatisfied with their own life. They don’t want you (or anyone for that matter) doing better than them. That’s their problem — not yours.

Things don’t always happen immediately when you’re starting a small business; it takes time. That’s why it’s so important to stay around positive people who motivate you to keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always include members of your family. Take the advice of the late great Napoleon Hill who suggests that all entrepreneurs join a mastermind group of like-minded people who all want each other to succeed.


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Twitter or Facebook for a Small Business?

One of the most important marketing steps for most small businesses is to establish a social media presence. There are a number of social media sites to choose from, however, the big two are Facebook and Twitter. workingWhile it’s a good idea to establish a strong platform on both sites, you may wonder which of the two you should spend the most time updating.

Facebook is Personal, Community-Oriented
Facebook allows you to be more personal with your target audience. It’s like going over to a friend’s house and having a chat over a cup of coffee. Because real names are attached to Facebook accounts, the conversation are often more civil than on other social media sites. You can develop an in-depth connection with your fans through comment threads and by posting photo albums as a way of telling your company’s “story.” Facebook is also more popular with older people and parents, according to a 2013 European research study.

So Facebook is best for companies that are looking to develop a community with their audience. It is a platform for building long-term relationships with customers. Based on this information, if you have a more traditional company that wants to attract repeat customers who will stay loyal for years to come, you might want to spend the majority of your time updating your Facebook page.

Twitter is Public and More About Instant Gratification

For the most part, Twitter is more public than Facebook. You don’t have to follow someone to see the tweets that they share (unless the profile is set to private). Information is being shared freely and at a fast pace. Twitter timelines move much more quickly, and it is not uncommon for a tweet to be buried within minutes of it being posted, so you have to work harder to keep fresh content in front of viewers if you want to capture and keep their attention.

Twitter is best for businesses that are hip, innovative and always on the cusp of what’s trendy and popular. Twitter appeals to a younger audience. Creative businesses like technology companies who develop software and clothing stores often do well on Twitter.

Check Out Tweet Adder for Twitter Account Management

So the Answer Is…
The answer to the question of whether Twitter or Facebook is right for small business depends on the type of company you have. The beauty of social networking is that it allows you to cater to a specific audience. You could start off by finding out where your target audience spends most of their time. If they prefer Facebook, spend most of your time there, and the same for Twitter. However, the best first step is to take a look at the type of business you operate and whether it’s fast-paced and trendy or best tailored for a slower, community-building approach.

Although there are other popular social media sites out there, Twitter and Facebook tend to be the two that are most often used by small businesses. No one site is best for all small businesses — it comes down to deciding which site best meets your company’s needs in particular.



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Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

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Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.