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  • #991334
    erthling
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    Hi there

    I would like some feedback on the following please:

    Five weeks ago I applied for the NEIS program and was accepted.
    I have just completed the Certificate III in Microbusiness operations, which was a very demanding course, considering it is 10 weeks long and also considering I was advised to ” complete it in 4 – 6 weeks” by the person who organised my NEIS application

    So I completed it in 5 weeks, which was very time consuming on the one hand, but good to get out of the way on the other!. During that time, however, the funds that I put away as start up costs for my business had to be spent on an unforseen bill – one that I had not budgeted for, unfortunately. This money was given to me by my son. This devastated me, as it was my dream going down the gurgler, so to speak, my chance to earn a living doing what I love gone.

    So I contacted a customer service rep about the NAB microenterprise loan telling them I had one unpaid debt on my credit rating of $500. She said they would “look at it as long as there was a payment plan in place, but even then, it might not go through”. I said ok, as long as a payment plan is in place it should be ok to get a loan? I was advised that “they would have to look at my ability to pay it off”.

    My questions are:

    Firstly:
    Part of the eligibility criteria for a NAB Microfinance loan is that you must be ineligible for a mainstream business loan. When it comes to the application process, how are the terms of the Microfinance loan any different from a mainstream loan?

    Secondly:
    How does a person on government benefits have money to start a business? Firstly, when you apply for benefits, I believe you must declare all savings, and wont get paid until those savings are used up.
    Secondly, if a person has no savings, I don’t see how they are going to be able to put money away for start-up costs for a business on what little money they get from the government?

    It seems to me that people really are being set up to fail.

    .

    #1181056
    Rowan@quaotic
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    And there it is… the problem that all low income people have when starting a new micro business.

    I have tried the NEIS scheme twice many years ago, and found it to be useless except for the business course part. I started the business I am in now on my own without even thinking of applying for NEIS and while I had no savings but it is a specialty business that would not suit most people.

    Anyway, I can’t help you and probably no one else can either. I found that I had to think of ways of saving and starting my business with no savings which I know is difficult but in the long run is better than being indebted. Unfortunately no-one will lend you money for an unproven microbusiness and it is hard to start a business without money especially as it will generally cost you much more than you think.

    Sorry, all that I can offer is, try to think of ways of making your business work casually or part time (if possible) till you build up enough money to go into it fully and without other help. It is all up to you. I know I am being cynical but it is experience from my own struggles.

    #1181057
    bb1
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    You need to look at it from the banks point of view as well, they are a business in themselves, and as such need to ensure they have a return on investment. So if nothing else they want to have their initial investment in your small business returned at some stage, and the cost of them purchasing that money as well. The banks shareholders will not be happy with them if they just willy nilly go and lend money to everyone who walks through the door with a business idea.

    Starting a small business is a risky business and if we all had easy excess to capital to start one, there would be a lot more people starting them, and the banks would be one area carrying the brunt off the resultant losses when a new startup fails.

    #1181058
    Tony Manto
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    Forget NEIS….Forget getting loans. This just sucks your time and puts you on the back foot to starting your business. I have found that the biggest reason business owners fail is lack of funds and a good business plan together with a good implementation plan.

    I would advice to start small. One client at a time. Shift your focus on how you can get a client and ensure what you have to offer is exceptional. And the rest will come.

    These days you don’t need a lot of money for marketing but you do need a lot of time. There are plenty of forums, and social media groups and pages you can populate to gain clients at no money cost but you will need to invest some time. If you absolutely need money today, you may need to get a couple of days a week working for someone while this strategy kicks in.

    Having said all that, depending on what you are selling, you may be able to ask for advance payments, giving you the money you need today.

    #1181059
    bb1
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    Tony Manto, post: 211200 wrote:
    Forget NEIS….Forget getting loans. This just sucks your time and puts you on the back foot to starting your business. I have found that the biggest reason business owners fail is lack of funds and a good business plan together with a good implementation plan.

    .

    I’m confused by this.

    you say forget NEIS, but than in the next sentence that small business’s fail because of a lack of good business and implementation plans. My understanding from NEIS is that they assist you with business planning, and all the esentials for building your business plan.

    Any skills or knowledge that a small startup can get is a bonus, we should be encouraging people to get the knowledge before they embark on a small business,.

    My biggest advise to any startup is to get as much knowledge and understanding of your proposed venture, and that is not only the knowledge of your planned inductry, but of small business in general.

    Look at the list below, why would you not recommend these for any potential startup, or even some existing business’s.
    T
    The NEIS Program includes:
    Introduction to Small Business
    Business Planning
    Legal & Administrative Requirements
    Marketing
    Pricing, Costing & Breakeven
    Financial Planning
    Operations Plan
    Record Keeping

    Mentoring

    During your 9 months of Income Support, each NEIS business is provided with a business Mentor who has regular contact with you to help ensure your Business will continue in the long-term.

    #1181060
    Tony Manto
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    When I say forget NEIS, I meant that it can be very time hard to qualify and it is very academic.

    I have found that downloading a good business plan and working with business adviser to help you implement it is far more effective that any other program out there.

    Sure you should learn as much as you can but I was responding specifically to comment that is was demanding and there may be better ways to spend your time and energy.

    If you got a lot out of it, then it was worth it!!!

    #1181061
    MichaelDigital
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    The NEIS can be very helpful, especially the fortnightly allowance which can provide marketing funds – but in reality you do need some funds and sooner rather than later….you did not state what business area you are in, so it is difficult to provide definite advice. I believe you can earn quite a bit before any penalty is given to the allowance, so maybe swallowing the pride and getting a part time job could be an option, Coles, Woolies, Bunnings – that kind of thing – it is an option to consider. Is there a way you can advertise on Gumtree, and other free classified platforms, your business to gain customers/clients?
    Do you have a website for your biz, that is another way you can advertise your business – even using one of the free platforms like Weebly, or Wix?

    #1181062
    krug
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    I’ve just completed NEIS training and it was a complete waste of time, even worse than that. If I only new… On paper, they teach you all those things, but in reality, most of it you already know, and the things that you don’t – you’ll need to learn yourself (Google it). The resource book is asking you questions, but not providing answers. The trainer is reading from the book and then asks you to do activities. Don’t bother asking questions; it’s embarrassing. The trainer had a business which failed and then got a job as a NEIS trainer. What do you expect to learn?

    But I’ve seen some positive feedback about NEIS before, so some people might benefit.

    I’m not quite sure about the NAB loan. I think it’s $3,000, and probably like any loan they will want some guaranty you can repay it back. You’ll also need a good business plan which is promising/convincing, something that you’ve done as part of your NEIS training.

    I’m receiving a government payment even though I have a reasonable amount in a savings account and term deposits. The benefit is reduced, not maximum, but still reasonable. So, no you don’t need to use up all your savings. I don’t have a house, so if you do, that might make a difference.

    #1181063
    Robert Gerrish
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    Hi All

    I think a few subjects are becoming lumped together here and it’s perhaps a little unfair to criticise the NEIS program in the context of raising a loan.

    Clearly ‘krug’ has not had a good personal experience, but from my travels and dealings over the past 10 years with many NEIS candidates and training organisations, the benefits of the program are well proven. They may not suit everyone, but for those who qualify and who need to gain the basics the scheme should be applauded IMHO.

    For those interesting in learning more, this link has the details.

    At the early stage of conceiving and designing a business I think we all agree that most would do well to do more in the planning phase and that’s where NEIS can fit in.

    Robert

    #1181064
    erthling
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    krug, post: 211300 wrote:
    I’ve just completed NEIS training and it was a complete waste of time, even worse than that. If I only new… On paper, they teach you all those things, but in reality, most of it you already know, and the things that you don’t – you’ll need to learn yourself (Google it). The resource book is asking you questions, but not providing answers. The trainer is reading from the book and then asks you to do activities. Don’t bother asking questions; it’s embarrassing. The trainer had a business which failed and then got a job as a NEIS trainer. What do you expect to learn?

    But I’ve seen some positive feedback about NEIS before, so some people might benefit.

    I’m not quite sure about the NAB loan. I think it’s $3,000, and probably like any loan they will want some guaranty you can repay it back. You’ll also need a good business plan which is promising/convincing, something that you’ve done as part of your NEIS training.

    I’m receiving a government payment even though I have a reasonable amount in a savings account and term deposits. The benefit is reduced, not maximum, but still reasonable. So, no you don’t need to use up all your savings. I don’t have a house, so if you do, that might make a difference.

    Thanks Krug.

    Yes, I’ve heard a LOT of stories like yours – that NEIS is not all its cracked up to be, mentors that did next to nothing to support the candidate, horrible training, etc. But i’d still like to give it a go because of the training component, which, hopefully, i’ll learn at least something valuable.

    Cheers

    #1181065
    erthling
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    MichaelDigital, post: 211287 wrote:
    The NEIS can be very helpful, especially the fortnightly allowance which can provide marketing funds – but in reality you do need some funds and sooner rather than later….you did not state what business area you are in, so it is difficult to provide definite advice. I believe you can earn quite a bit before any penalty is given to the allowance, so maybe swallowing the pride and getting a part time job could be an option, Coles, Woolies, Bunnings – that kind of thing – it is an option to consider. Is there a way you can advertise on Gumtree, and other free classified platforms, your business to gain customers/clients?
    Do you have a website for your biz, that is another way you can advertise your business – even using one of the free platforms like Weebly, or Wix?

    Thanks for your advice. I’ve decided to work part time and raise funds through GoFundMe – i’m not giving up – ever. I don’t care how long it takes, i’ll start my own business – with or without government help. Heehee

    Cheers

    #1181066
    krug
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    • Total posts: 16
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    erthling, post: 211424 wrote:
    Thanks Krug.

    Yes, I’ve heard a LOT of stories like yours – that NEIS is not all its cracked up to be, mentors that did next to nothing to support the candidate, horrible training, etc. But i’d still like to give it a go because of the training component, which, hopefully, i’ll learn at least something valuable.

    Cheers

    As I said, some people did find NEIS program useful, so you might as well. But I’m not sure about the training that you expect. My understanding is that you’ve completed the first part (training), which is in your case Certificate III in Microbusiness operations. Now you need your business plan to be approved by NEIS provider, to be accepted into the second stage – NEIS Assistance. There is no more training, only a monthly phone call to check your progress.

    And if you get NEIS Assistance, your business can make as much money as you like (presumably money stays in business) and you can make extra money from any other work up to a limit (I think equal to your NEIS payment), but this is per quarter, so if you go over even $1, your NEIS payment for the next quarter will be $0.

    As for your other post, I might as well comment it here. It looks good to me, but it all depends on your family/friends. Sometimes it might be a good idea to say how much you need (roughly, not exactly) and what you are going to spend money on, i.e. how this money will enable you to start the business. Even better, a letter supporting your business plan from a relevant person. Again, if your family/friends know you well and trust you, this may not be necessary.

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