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Join two of Bank of America’s Small Business Bankers as they team up with entrepreneur and co-founder of Harlem Capital, Brandon Bryant, to offer some unique perspectives on the financial side of entrepreneurship. This session will be livestreamed by Brandon (@wallstreetpaper) from the Better Money Habits® Retreat in Miami, FL, where other entrepreneurs and small business owners are gathering this weekend to talk all things financial wellness.


From learning what inspired Brandon to pursue entrepreneurship to tips on how to take this next step in life, you can follow along and tweet questions to @wallstreetpaper on Saturday, September 27th at 4 p.m. ET


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The journey can look so long. When you’re sitting in your cubicle, counting down the hours until you can commute home, the distance from employee to entrepreneur can appear impossible to cross.


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It isn’t… and thousands of people make that journey successfully every year. According to the U.S.Chamber of Commerce, about 400,000 new businesses are started each year—and 70 percent of those businesses are still running two years later. Making the move from employee to entrepreneur requires just three steps.


They’re big steps, but there’s just three of them.


1.    Measure and Find the Money You Need


The first step is the most frightening. Starting a business always costs money. Whether you’re opening an online store or planning to set up a law firm, you’re going to have upfront costs. You’ll have office expenses and marketing expenses. You’ll need to buy supplies and equipment. You might have to pay for licenses and salaries. Some of those costs will be predictable. Others you’ll only be able to estimate.


The same is true of revenues. It might be a year or more before you see a return on your investments, and even longer before you break even. You’ll need to know how much money you’ll need to take you to that break-even point—and where you’re going to get it from. You’ll need to measure your savings, talk to the bank, and understand how much you’ll have to pay for any loans that you take.


Tackling the finances will be difficult, but it’s the first step towards taking control of your business life.


2.    Build a Routine


Money is one vital resource that every entrepreneur needs. The other is time. The two are related, of course. The more time you’re able to devote to your business, the more money you’ll spend but the sooner you’ll be able to turn the red ink black.


Ideally, you’ll be able to walk into your boss’s office, thrown down your resignation letter and head off to your own business to work full-time. In practice though, what usually happens is that small businesses start in spare hours. They’re built in the evenings and early mornings, and they take off at weekends when barbeques and sports games are sacrificed for semi-professional photography shoots and product launches.


There’s a benefit to that gradual approach. It means that by the time you’re ready to go full-time, you’ll already know what you’re doing. You’ll know which products your customers like most and which marketing channels work best. Moving to full-time business-building won’t mean hoping that your business idea succeeds; it will mean scaling an idea that’s already showing signs of promise.


Before you become a full-time entrepreneur, build a schedule around your day job. Make testing different parts of your business part of your routine so that you get the riskiest and toughest parts of being an entrepreneur out of the way before you take the jump.



3.    Enjoy the Process


There are always difficult moments when building a business. There will always be challenges and failures and frustrations. There will also be successes, achievements, and a great sense of pride. No one expects you to enjoy the times when launches fizzle or clients walk away but you should be able to enjoy the journey overall.


Employees have a steady income. They know exactly how much money they’re going to make each month. They know what they have to do to get their next raise, and they know the maximum they can expect to earn. If all you’re interested in is your finances, then you’ll find it easier to match your lifestyle to your income than to build a business to raise your earnings.


You don’t become an entrepreneur only to get rich. You build a business because you enjoy the process of building it. You know that you’ll love working for yourself, and you’ll have real fun putting it all together.


The last step is the most important: create a business plan that you’ll really enjoy implementing.


About Joel Comm


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As an Internet pioneer, Joel has been creating profitable websites, software, products and helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1995. He has been at the frontlines of live video online since 2008 and has a deep expertise in using tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat to broadcast a clearly defined message to a receptive audience or leveraging the power of webinar and meeting technologies.


Joel is a New York Times best-selling author of 15 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 3.0.” He is Co-Host of The Bad Crypto Podcast one of the top crypto-related shows in the world and has spoken before thousands of people around the world and seeks to inspire, equip and entertain.


Web: or Twitter: @JoelComm

Read more from Joel Comm


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Joel Comm to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Joel Comm is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Joel Comm. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Do you dream of being your own boss but don’t think you have enough startup capital? Starting a business is more affordable than ever.


Don’t believe me? Read on to discover 21 businesses you can start for $25,000 or less—and find out how you can win $25,000 to launch your dream business. (see note below)


First, the secrets to low-cost business success



  • Start as a one-person business and hire freelancers/independent contractors as you grow.
  • Run your business from home and meet with clients at their office or a neutral location.
  • Instead of buying new equipment, buy used or lease what you need
  • Focus on basics: a computer, smartphone and a website, plus any licenses, permits or certifications you need.
  • Consider incorporating to protect your personal assets from liability.


Best business startup ideas under $25,000


  1. Tutoring service: Tutor students in their homes or offer services at schools.  (National Tutoring Association)
  2. Photography business: Specialize in weddings, sports teams, class photos or pets; or market your services to businesses. (American Photographic Artists)
  3. Graphic design company: Create logos, marketing materials and more for business clients. (Graphic Artists Guild)
  4. Website design company: Help other small business owners create an online presence. Offer additional services, like SEO and marketing assistance, to boost your sales. (Association of Web Design Professionals)
  5. Event/Party/Wedding planner: Plan parties or weddings for individuals, or meetings and conventions for businesses. (PCMA, Meeting Professionals International)
  6. Personal trainer: Get basic workout equipment and certification from a professional organization and start helping clients shape up. (ACE, National Strength and Conditioning Association)
  7. Handyman services: Market your services to homeowners, property managers and landlords. (Association of Certified Handyman Professionals)
  8. In-home childcare service: Get licensed and insured, then start marketing your childcare services through word-of-mouth. (National Association for Family Child Care)
  9. Virtual assistant business: Help other small business owners with administrative tasks. (International Virtual Assistants Association)
  10. Consulting business: From IT and management to marketing and sales, just about any professional expertise can become a consulting business. (Institute of Management Consultants)
  11. Pool cleaning business: A used truck and equipment will get you started; network with other home services businesses to find customers. (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals)
  12. House painting service: Invest in equipment and promote your business via word-of-mouth and networking. (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America)
  13. Personal chef/Caterer: Cook up success preparing meals for private clients as a personal chef or cater bigger events for individuals and organizations. (National Association for Catering & Events, United States Personal Chef Association)
  14. Maid service: Busy Americans need someone to keep their homes clean. Also target the senior living-at-home market. (ISSA The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association)
  15. Dog walking/Pet sitting service: Profit from Americans’ love of pets by watching and exercising their dogs. (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters)
  16. Crafts business: Sell your wares at Amazon, Etsy or local crafts fairs. (Craft Industry Alliance)
  17. E-commerce business: Find a niche and use drop shipping to keep your costs down. Also sell via a marketplace like Amazon or eBay. (Internet Merchants Association)
  18. Bookkeeping service: Put your skills to work helping other businesses get their finances in order. (National Association of Professional Bookkeepers)
  19. Mobile auto detailing service: A used truck or van and some equipment will get you started on the road to success. (International Detailing Association)
  20. College admissions/financial aid consulting: Getting into college is harder and more expensive than ever; help students and their parents prepare for success. (Independent Educational Consultants Association)
  21. Buy a franchise: Find low-investment franchises at the International Franchise Association(IFA) website.


Are You a Small Business Owner Interested in Winning $25,000?


Entrepreneurs who want to win $25,000 have the opportunity to do so by entering the Mastercard Grow Your Biz Contest, in association with Bank of America. To enter the Grow Your Biz Contest, small business owners must answer the simple question, “How would $25,000 help your business grow?” by submitting a video up to 1 minute long online explaining how they could use $25,000 to improve an existing business*. Four finalists will pitch their business to the Grow Your Biz Panel in New York City on 11/14/2019 for the chance to win $25,000, in addition to an industry-expert consultation.  Learn more at


*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Open only to small business owners who are legal U.S. residents, and 18 and older. Ends 10/6/19. For Official Rules and complete details, click here.


About Rieva Lesonsky


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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.


Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.


Web: or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

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