How can an entrepreneur establish a debt consolidation business?

Consumers struggling to make timely payments to clear-off their unmanageable debts are seeking professional debt consolidation or debt management help nowadays. Previously, it was regarded as the last resort for low wage earners. This trend has changed and people of all walks of life and income level are seeing it as a bright idea to get debt relief. This gradual change was evident due to the incessant financial turmoil in the world economy.

Primarily, debt consolidation service providers have to organize all the debts of their clients into a single manageable debt. This unified debt is repaid over a longer period of time with a low interest rate. The interest paid here is lower than sum of interest paid on all the debts combined.

Venturing into this sort of business has always been risky. But, there is a necessary evil associated with every business. The return on investment in it is quite commendable. Keeping this in mind, the market is flooded with such companies.

If you’re pondering to set up a debt consolidation company, you must go through the essential points mentioned herein:

Finance: You have 2 options in hand to finance your upcoming project. First is direct lending. Here you will consolidate debts of clients from your own capital. This option is for those entrepreneurs who have a huge capital at their disposal. Several entrepreneurs can join hands to raise a capital and invest in the project. Thus, it reduces stress on a single investor. Second, you can borrow to materialize your business start-up plan, termed as margin lending. Here, you’ll have to get credit from larger investors or finance institutions. The risk factor in this method is higher and there are much stricter federal rules and regulations to follow.

Competition: Investigate the level of competition in the industry you are targeting to enter. Study your local competitors thoroughly to come up with an innovative idea that is not put to use by your competitors. Find out ways to market your services in your locality.

Business Plan: Setting up a new debt consolidation business requires same parameters to be followed as with any other business project. There should be a proper answer to questions like, where should be the location of the company & why and how much capital is required to cover the costs of setting it up. In addition to that, its operating & marketing expenses should also be taken into consideration.

License: In many states, you need license to run this kind of business. You will come across a lot of government laws and regulations. Licensing will cost you both time and resources. But consumers have faith in an accredited debt consolidation company and look up to them as reliable, people to get help from. There are state offices or website to apply for the accreditations.

Income: It is very important to note that people getting debt consolidation or debt management help from you, are already running short of cash. So, chart out an honest and fair service rate for the clients. This pricing should be in a way to encourage them to ask for help from you and not from others.

Finally, no start-up venture could establish itself without effective social relationship. You have to be proactive in building a strong and reliable network of financiers and well wishers who will further your cause of helping people to get out of debt and run a profitable business. Send a good official proposal letter with all the copies of licenses to the creditors and their service providers. This gesture will create a good reputation for your company amongst the creditors.

Marlon Powell is a contributory writer associated with the Debt Consolidation Care Community and has written several articles for various financial websites. He holds his expertise in the Debt industry and has covered these topics – debt settlement, debt management help, debt consolidation, debt relief etc.

Video Cliff’s Notes

English Lit majors will hate me for this, but I believe most people are perfectly happy with an entertaining plot summary and some bullet-point takeaways.  I once met a woman who thought The Death of Ivan Ilyich was the greatest book ever written.

Spoiler alert: he dies.

I think people have a basic desire to know and understand classic literature — enough to be conversational and maybe get some trivia questions right.  Certain works are part of our collective culture — but that doesn’t mean we need them read it line-by-line and analyze every passage.  (As my English class did with Heart of Darkness).

Even as an ace student, I relied heavily on Cliff’s Notes.  But the problem is, they’re not much better than reading the actual book.

The Pitch:

Create short videos for classic books.  I’m picturing some pen-and-ink-style animation like the Story of Stuff YouTube videos, but really it’s up to you.

  • Plot summary
  • Literary analysis
  • Historical significance
  • 5-10 minutes MAX

Well TED talks get away with 20 minutes so maybe people will have a longer attention span, especially if they’re paying you.  And even at 20 minutes, you’re still saving them HOURS over actually reading.

How to Monetize:

You could turn this into a business in a few different ways.  You could put up a few teaser videos   to get people interested, and keep most content behind a paid membership wall.  The advantage of this is the recurring revenue stream and the scalability.

Another option is to charge by the title.  The price point would have to be pretty low, but there’s a lot of volume potential.  I mean every year how many millions of students have to read Hamlet, right?

A third monetization strategy would be to give all the short video away for free, and charge for “premium” service — access to your team of English majors or librarians, more in-depth analyses, one-on-one essay writing help, etc.  It would be more labor intensive but could be positioned as a more high-end service.

What do you think?  Start-up costs wouldn’t be huge.  Just need an animator/video editor and a giant passion for literature.

Disclaimer: I’m a reader.  But I think there are a lot of people who would find value in this service.  This business idea isn’t about cheating; it’s about making learning more fun and efficient.

Have You Considered a Franchise?

This is a guest post by Carly Messmer of

Finding the Right Franchise Fit

While making the decision to open a franchise can be an easy decision for some, it can be a scary decision to others. One of the biggest benefits of opening a franchise is that there is already a successful business and marketing plan in place. Because of this, it may not be as scary to open a franchise as some may think.

When selecting a franchise, it should be a business that you will not only be excited to own and operate, but also make financial sense. Your franchise should make you money while you enjoy running it. Though you may be your own boss, you do not want to dread going to work everyday.

Research Your Options

Finding the right franchise for you requires some research. Stop by different franchises to see how the operation works, traffic volume and cleanliness. Speak to a franchise owner to get some tips, ideas and as much input as you can. Gather as much information as you can about the franchises you are interested in and carefully read through each one’s Franchise Disclosure Document.

Select a Type of Franchise

Ask yourself if you will be able to meet your goals and dreams running a franchise. You may want to select a franchise that fits your likes and lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy cooking or entertaining, you may want to consider opening a restaurant. Or if you enjoy camping, a sporting goods store may be the best option.

Determine Financial Investment

Find out how much it will cost to sign up as a franchisee. Ask if your initial investment will include initial inventory and store build-outs. Does the investment include any training, marketing assistance and other business related resources.

Determine how much money you can invest upfront and how much you will need to finance. Ask if the company offers financing or do you have to get your own loan. Consider future finances and ask to see if you can make the payments for the financed part of your investment.

Finding the Right Location

Check different areas to see if there are any stores already open, because you do not want to open one close to another. Next, consider which areas in your town offer easy access for drivers and walkers. If your location is easy to get to, customers will be more likely to come back on a regular basis.

Opening up a franchise take time and should be completely researched before you sign the contract. offers entrepreneurs resources to find the perfect franchise. We offer an easy to use comprehensive directory that lists hundreds of the best franchises and business opportunities for sale. We’ve got all the information you need to identify which business is right for you.


How Facebook Could Single Handedly Wipe out the Online Dating Competition

I firmly believe Facebook could wipe out the online dating competition (eharmony,,, etc) by adding a single field to their database (or maybe a couple from a technical perspective).

On the profile page of all your friends (and heck, even your non friends) — add a drop down field viewable only to you labeled “I want to:” with the following options “Date/Marry/Hookup/Not Interested”.

You could go through you friends and choose your interest level in each of them. A notification would go to both parties IF both parties indicated they had the same interest in each other. For example, if only one party indicates that they want to “date” a particular friend of theirs, that info stays hidden from everyone forever unless the other friend makes the same indication back at their friend.

What better way to form romantic relationships than by facilitating a discussion between two parties who are interested in the same thing?

Sure, there is the discovery of people that aren’t your current friends who could be a good match for you. That’s essentially what eHarmoney and Match are built on. However, Facebook has enough data to make those recommendations better than Match or eHarmony can — particularly if all their users start telling Facebook what their preferences are based on the types of people they are interested in.

I realize this is another extremely niche business idea since Facebook is likely the only company that can pull it off. Maybe someone can figure out a way to do this using a Facebook login system. The challenge with that approach is then each of your friends has to authorize and app and then interact with it rather than simply changing a drop down field when looking at a friend’s profile.

Thoughts? Would you use this feature if it existed on Facebook?

A Really Really Niche Business Idea (for Old Website Companies)

Remember Geocities? Remember Tripod?

I had websites on both of those sites back in the day — circa 1994 or 1995 I’d guess.

If they can retrieve those websites in their entirety and deliver me the html files? I’ll buy them so I can put them online on my own server. I just want to have them for old times sake.

Tripod? Geocities? Hackers that know how to retrieve sites no longer online? Bueller?

Membership Website

A membership website is a simple business model that is both very simple and very lucrative.  Imagine you ran a membership site with 1000 people, all paying you $10 a month.  How about 10,000?

Pretty nice, right?

Think of it like a country club online.  Members pay for special privileges, exclusive access, camaraderie with like-minded people, and (importantly) they buy into the idea of belonging to something.

And the thing is, there are successful membership websites for nearly every niche imaginable, from cooking to marathon training.  

Everyone is in an expert in something — what’s your specialty?

The beauty of a membership site is the power of leverage.  It will take roughly the same amount of work to produce content for 10 people as it would for 1000.  All that extra income is just gravy.

So how to get started?

  1. Establish expertise.  Anyone can be an expert at anything, it just takes some time to study up and become an authority.
  2. Establish trust.  Be honest and authentic.
  3. Establish value.  Deliver amazing content people won’t find anywhere else.

What most people do is give away some content for free, but put the REALLY good stuff behind the membership wall.  Maybe you put a few teaser videos out for the public, but make people join for access to a private forum, exclusive how-to’s, and personal attention from you, the expert.

There are some powerful WordPress plug-ins that can add a membership layer to any WordPress site, so you don’t even have to worry about the technical implementations.

The downside to starting a membership website is that you may be signing yourself up for many years of creating content.  But if you choose a niche you’re passionate about, it probably won’t seem like work at all.  Plus, you’ll have your entire membership base to keep you motivated and it can turn into a great support community.

For more information, check out Seth Godin’s Tribes and Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents.  And then get to work!