Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Starting a small business can be intimidating, but plenty of people have done it before—and done it successfully. Whether it’s opening your own coffee shop, starting a consultancy firm, or becoming a wedding planner, there are plenty of opportunities for success.
Take real estate investor Theresa Bradley-Banta (pictured right), who has created two businesses, one drastically different than the other. She started out 23 years ago with her own graphic design firm, but now she spends her days flipping not just houses but also multi-million dollar apartment buildings with her business, the Theresa Bradley-Banta Real Estate Consultancy.
Initially a freelancer designer, Bradley-Banta started investing in real estate when she and her husband moved out of their home. Instead of selling the house, she rented out her old home to a group of college girls and loved the experience. This inspired her next business endeavor, with which she expanded her business knowledge and learned tools for success.
Tip 1: Follow your passion.
Bradley-Banta’s first experience as a landlord led to more real estate acquisitions and eventually to flipping properties, which she found she enjoyed more than day-to-day property management. But it would take a hefty stash of 20 houses to afford a property manager that could take some of the work off her hands, so she switched to multi-family buildings.
“I bought a 29-unit building, completely renovated that property, and ultimately flipped it,” she said. In doing so, she found she was more passtionate about renovating properties than graphic design. “I really enjoyed that whole process of taking up an old, rundown building that was poorly managed and making it beautiful and a really nice place for residents to live.”
Tip 2: Have a clear vision to get where you want to go.
When she began considering larger buildings, she knew she would need the right team of people behind her and a plan to get there.
“I had a purpose behind it. I wanted to really impact lives,” she said. “It wasn’t a big pile of money at the end. The most important thing I did was I started driving around and looking at apartment buildings in town and picturing myself owning them. I thought about the lives I could impact by being a great landlord. I dreamed about the buildings I could change and the team I could have in place. I really had the end in mind.”
Identify first why you want to start your own business—whether it’s to make enough money to live, to share a passion with the world, or to help people. A profit is usually the goal of any business, but identifying other, more personal goals will help guide your plans.
Tip 3: You don’t have to know everything to get started; you just need to know enough.
Don’t let your lack of expertise scare you from starting a business. As your business grows, you will learn from the experiences and people you encounter along the way.
“Just get started—you’ll learn as you go,” Bradley-Banta said. “Just make sure you’re not leaping off a cliff.”
Tip 4: Surround yourself with positive, engaging people.
The best way to gain the knowledge and support you need is to surround yourself with people who can help you—whether that’s good lawyers or good friends.
“I think it’s really important to hang out with the right people,” she said. “It’s not easy, but if you’re spending time with people who are negative, doing the same stuff day in and day out, and constantly coming up excuses about why they won’t change, you’re not hanging out with the right people. It’s just really that who you associate with plays a huge part in your success, so be aware of it.”
Michelle Stoffel Huffman is a researcher and staff writer for Think Glink Inc. Prior to joining Think Glink, Michelle worked for the Chicago Tribune as a daily news reporter and community manager, covering local government, business, tax issues and crime. She now specializes in real estate industry news, consumer financial reporting and home design and decor. She is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.