Smart Reasons to Use Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards

Whether you’re a startup or you run an established brand, a business credit card is essential for the financial well being. A business credit card is much more than a way to pay for your business purchases. It is a convenient mode for entrepreneurs to increase their company’s power. Not only does it enable access to revolving credit lines but also provide a range of lucrative rewards, fraud protection, and most importantly, smooth out the cash flow.

A business credit survey from Federal Reserve showed that nearly 52 percent of companies that have at least 50 employees use business credit cards for several purposes. With a set credit limit, the business owners make purchases, transact money, and withdraw cash. Many businesses use credit card although, like a regular consumer card, they carry an interest charge if the entrepreneurs don’t repay the balance in the billing cycle.

Despite a high-interest rate, using business credit cards is considered beneficial when it comes to making smart purchases. Here are some reasons why purchasing on your business credit card is more savvy and advantageous in the long run.

Why You Should Use Business Credit Cards

1. Brings You Travel Rewards

You may have seen many entrepreneurs putting marketing ad from Google and Facebook on their business bank cards. They use it for the monthly payments. The trick is tremendously advantageous for gaining an extra thirty days of cash flow at zero cost.  Plus, it is an easy way to scale their business quickly. 

To put it simply, the travel mile strategy with business travel credit card offers a plethora of lucrative rewards. However, to make the most of this strategy, you need to choose your business bank card wisely. That means if you typically fly from a specific airline, consider using the co-branded credit card of that airline.

 The idea is great to receive a variety of traveling perks that may include easy airline status, priority boarding, and checked bags at no cost. Choose a business bank card that comes with flexible travel rewards that you can use with more than one provider.

2. Better Reward Protection

If you have ever tried to use your business credit card to deal with outside or international vendors, you must know that it is critical to pay them through the plastic. In other words, making foreign transactions with business credit card protects entrepreneurs to dispute the payments or save their cash on hand.  The fraud protection strategy of business credit cards provides great fraud protection. The federal law doesn’t put fraudulent charges more than $50 on the cardholders. Many card issuers offer 0 percent liability.  It is worth noting that this offer is not the same when you use a business debit card as per federal law. So using a business credit card is a better and smarter choice.

3. You can Finance large Business Purchases

One of the significant benefits of using a business credit card is that the entrepreneur can leverage its equity to purchase things that help their business to grow. It is because come with a strong financing strategy, you can finance large or small purchases inexpensively. Use your business credit card with a relatively low-rate balance transfer or low introductory rate.

Also, remember that even you use a credit card that comes with a 16 to 20 percent interest rate is a cheaper option than other financing options for your business. They may carry hidden high rates.

4. Insurance Coverage

You might not have heard about that you can save on rental car or travel insurance by paying through business credit card. The travel saving insurance makes an excellent offer for traveling enthusiasts. Several business credit cards come with collision damage coverage when a customer rents a vehicle. This primary coverage means you don’t need to file claims for your auto insurers first. Some banks offer secondary coverage that provides many benefits if auto insurance does not cover the amount of damage or loss.

5. Help You Fund Your Startups

Business credit cards, without a doubt, offer multiple benefits if you’re a startup. As mentioned earlier, many small business owners spend hundreds of dollars to run online ads and make payments with their business credit cards. Using that for payments adds many reward points or perks may help business owner pay for other expenses and purchases.

The startup financing strategy of business credit cards often relies on the personal credit card scores or history; especially when issuers evaluate applications. That means these business credit cards offer you a financing option for your new businesses if accessing other finance forums is difficult for you. Additionally, you can use other sources than just business revenues to meet the income requirements of banks.

6. Save Money on Expenses

Cashback strategy includes in some of the popular rewards that any business or brand can use.  Your card can have flat cash reward on all your purchases. Also, you can have large cash back rewards for some specific categories of your spending.

Cards that come with a high reward may charge you higher fees. However, the best way to maximize cash back is to use multiple cards. Know that if you analyze your spending carefully, you will be able to determine and understand which business credit card is best for you.

7. Provide Excellent Employee Perks

Many smart entrepreneurs accumulate their cash back rewards of the year and use them for annual celebrations and bonuses. Others share travel perks and miles with competent employees. Thus, making purchases or using a reward that benefits in-house or even remote employees is an excellent idea.  This is undeniably a smart strategy to positively impact on employees’ productivity and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

To crown it all, using business bank cards for purchases, payments, and rewards is an easy way to keep the business cash flow running. Thus, the given reasons are advantageous for using business credit cards smartly.

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Get Matched with a Credit Card!

Steps to Get Credit report for Free

A credit report is typically a financial report. If you have ever used a credit card or requested a loan, your bank evaluates credentials through your credit report. From the number of credit cards you’ve used in past, payment details, money that you owe on cards to the loans you’ve taken, a credit report lists them all.

All these factors make your credit card score, which is a three -digit number that indicates how risky of a borrower you are. That means if your borrowers’ grade point average is low, you might face difficulties in applying for new credit cards and loans. It is important to note that your credit report is thoroughly evaluated when you apply for a new loan or credit card.

That is why checking your credit report is of paramount importance multiple times a year to make sure that its information is correct. However, you must not pay to get a credit report.  If a lender or website is charging you money or asking your personal information for a credit report, do not fall for this fraud.

It is because you can easily get your credit report without spending a penny thrice a year. You can submit your direct request to AnnualCreditReport.com, or you can receive it from credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

 Let’s see what steps you can follow to get credit report for free;

Steps to Get Your Credit Report for Free

1.     Select a Credible Source

While sources like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma allow you to see credit scores at anytime, you cannot access your credit report more than three times a year. You can only check once when major credit card bureaus send you. This is what makes picking an appropriate source an important step to get a free credit report.

2.     Call 1-877-322-8228 or Submit Request at AnnualCreditReport.com

To receive a free credit report, you can submit a request through AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you can call on the verified number 1-877-322-8228. Remember that if any other source claims to provide a credit report and ask you to exchange personal information, it is a fraud.

Moreover, requesting a credit report will not negatively affect your credit history or credit, but you are limited to receiving three reports a year as per federal laws.

3.     Fill an Online Credit Report

If you want your credit report through a website, you need to fill out a submission form. Regardless of how many forms you want (one to three), submitting the form for the allotted report is necessary.  You will have to fill out some basic information in the form such as your name, your current residential address, and social security number.

4.     Decide Number of Credit Reports You intend to Review

You need to select the credit bureau you want credit report from. Pick Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, or all three major credit bureaus. These bureaus have all your credit-card histories and information that they get from creditors.  However, not all three of them contain the same information. This is where you need to choose the right credit bureau as this may lead to variation in your credit history information each bureau has recorded.

The best practice is to review all three credit reports to different point in time. Setting reminder to send a request for your credit report will help your view each report individually. However, if you are planning to make a big purchase such as buying a house or car that requires you to check credit, you can request all credit reports at once. This way, you can review all three of them for identity theft and accuracy.

5.     Respond to Security Questions

Before you receive your credit report, bureaus ask some security questions to assess your credibility or verify identity. The information in the questions is based on your credit report and is often tricky. You are given only five minutes to complete the answers.

 If you want to request all three reports from different bureaus, you have to answers the questions for each bureau.

6.     Submit a Request to Review Credit report

Once all the steps mentioned above are complete, the credit card bureau website will generate your report within minutes. If the report is requested via phone, the bureau will send it by mail that may take 15 to 20 days.

Your credit report has five sections:

  • Personal Information: the section comprises your name, addresses, date of birth, and contact details.
  • Accounts: the section incorporates the entire history of your different credit lines you have had, account status, current balance, and account opening date, minimum payment, credit limit, and highest balance.
  • Public Records:   the section lists your legal matters related to bankruptcy, tax lien, etc.
  • Hard Inquiries: your applications for new loans and credit cards (in the previous two years) will appear in this section.
  • Soft Inquiries:  if any insurance company, credit-card lender, employer, or lender has made an inquiry for your credit card, this section will show them.

7.     File a Dispute in Case of Any Discrepancy

This is one of the most important steps that hold the main purpose of getting a credit report. Once you receive your credit report for free, inspect it for correct payment details, balance, dates, etc. if you find any discrepancy in the information, or you find the details entirely unrecognizable, and then file a dispute. You can do it online or call the credit bureau helpline.

It is important to know that you only get credit report for free from credit bureaus, but you have to pay for identity-monitoring services.  It is because credit bureaus have unlimited email alerts, and credit reports if a fraudulent application for credit on your ID or name.

Final Thoughts

Overall, requesting a credit report doesn’t only help you determine your payment history but in several other matters. They are immensely helpful when it comes to managing your credit balances and applying for new loans. Thus, the given steps will help you get a credit report for free.

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Ideal Approaches to Achieve Business Growth

Business GrowthThe business world is always adapting to changing consumer behavior and varying needs. Competition is growing, consumers are becoming ever-demanding, and more brands are entering the market.

To stay a float, it’s necessary that small businesses achieve more growth this year by employing the right strategies. This means that your ultimate goals should include having a bigger base of loyal customers. Higher rates of customer acquisition, and a productive marketing strategy.

Here are some great approaches to help you achieve business growth.

Set Key Performance Indicators

Start measuring performance via objectively measurable indicators. Whether you’re trying to assess your employees’ performance, marketing campaign, or customer satisfaction, KPIs can take you a long way. It takes the guesswork out of the equation.

It’ll help you measure how close you’re getting to achieving business goals. Another benefit of introducing KPIs to your organization is that you can report them to project shareholders conveniently.

Improve Customer Service

Customers need attention and if you don’t provide it, they’ll find a brand that does. Research proves that customers are growing impatient and frustrated when a brand’s customer service fails to meet the mark.

This year, you need to step up and improve your customer service by implementing live chat systems, updating FAQ pages on your websites, and responding to feedback with customized replies.

Nowadays, consumers prefer to do their own research at their convenience, rather than having to call a customer care rep during normal hours, when they’re busy too. This means that they’ll look up your website, and if they have any queries, the FAQ page is the first place they’ll look. To stay ahead of the competition, upgrade your customer service strategy.

Make User Experience a High Priority

UX is becoming a critical aspect of branding, now that a business’ role is no longer limited to just selling; consumers want to know everything about you. No matter how amazing your product or services are, they aren’t the only things that determine how a customer experiences your brand.

Now, they evaluate everything; whether your website is easily accessible if your customer care representatives respond quickly enough, and if your app is user-friendly. To ensure your customers get the best user experience, you’ll need to optimize your landing page, make your website easy to navigate through, and allow your audience to reach out conveniently. Once you hit the mark with all these aspects, that’s when consumers will start considering your products.

Enhance Your Content and Marketing Strategy

They say ‘Content is king’, but is your strategy up to the mark? Now, businesses don’t just sell services and commodities, and they’re generous with information and content. Consumers love to read about products and your specialty, so rely on your expertise to create engaging content that consumers will love reading.

Sharing knowledge only shows how your brand has the skills to cater to their needs, so it’s beneficial in the long term. Content is a part of your ongoing marketing strategy, and thanks to different social media platforms, you can be more flexible with the kind of content you create.

Develop Collaborations and Partnerships

Partnering with other brands can give you a boost, especially if it’s a company that can complement your services and products. By releasing special edition products, ranges, and combinations, you grasp the audience’s attention and induce the urgency to shop and spend money.

However, your collaborations shouldn’t be limited to releasing new products; you should also make sure to affiliate with influencers to market your brand in a transparent and consumer-friendly way.

Influencers are established experts in the niche, so having them on your side can increase customer engagement.

Take a Risk and Try Expanding

Although it isn’t necessary that your business expands over time, it’s always beneficial to venture beyond your range and enter a different domain. Taking risks is always a part of running a business, so you might as well expand your range of expertise while you’re at it.

If you’re a retail brand, consider releasing your own line of makeup, home decor, or artsy products. All ideas have their own unique charm, but it’s best that you listen to your customers first.

Start by experimenting with a pilot test and analyzing how your audience responds to new products. Based on pilot tests, you’ll know whether a potential business venture will turn out to be profitable or not.

Talk Data

Data analytics are changing the business perspective from a blur to a crystal-clear view. Now, it’s much easier to understand consumer spending habits and trends that are garnering the most attention. Relying on big data to help you make well-informed decisions and investments is no longer just a great option, it’s a necessity.

Deriving trends from numbers and statistics used to be a tiring and cumbersome task, but with the help of analytics and AI, you can get insights far more quickly.

Not to mention, they’ll also be accurate, when compared to insights derived by humans. The best part? Machine learning means that your analytics software will only keep getting better at what it does, so you won’t have an excuse to make a fluke.

Try Drop Shipping Services

Drop shipping is the newest trend for e-commerce websites when it comes to delivering merchandise to their customers. It gives you the benefit of not having to hold onto any stock; any order that your customer makes goes directly from a drop shipper to them.

The product will be complete with your brand’s label and name tag, so it won’t lack customization. In addition, it offers your brand greater flexibility to operate from anywhere.

Conclusion

Some of the best ways that your business can achieve growth by focusing on customer service, marketing, collaborations, and making an impression. While it’s necessary to take one step at a time, you need to be more productive in order to satisfy a demanding audience that is always waiting for something new.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

3 Smart Ways to Expand Your Customer Base in 21  Days

 

What is Customer base?

A customer base is considered to be the group of customer who always comes back to buy more product or service provided by any business. It is better to understand your target audience or customers each product or service made or supplied by the business is aimed at the customer base as they are the hopes of revenue generation for future endeavors.

It’s important to understand that it is far more cost-efficient and easier way to retain a customer than to gain new customers as acquiring new customers can sometimes mean an entirely new marketing strategy to be developed and adopted by the whole business, which can add to the expense. Hence, a very dynamic approach must be used to maximize sales, i.e. keep old customers and make new customers.

More two-way communication instead of just one-way communication

Customer must be treated as an asset and their feelings and suggestions towards the product must be taken into account to make it into an even more accessible and easy to use in a better way. As it is expected the old retaining customers can help bring new customers. Retained customers will feel a lot more involved with the company thus pushing their undying loyalty towards an increment.

Customer’s suggestion has helped many companies make slight changes to their product which can even help them set a USP (Unique Selling Point) as they might discover a loophole no one else might have. Some companies stopped themselves from failing miserably just by focusing on what the customer wanted, rather than what the company wanted to make. This has even led some companies that make shampoos to turn into making other products like face wash due to their customer base demand.

Maintain good after sales service and support for the customers

An effective calls support system helps the company outshine other companies. Some companies may have the most innovated product but due to some technical, usability issues and confusions have led to their termination.

A customer will always choose and trust a place that has provided all the necessary information online. Hence, It is critically important to keep fresh new content on the website with all the necessary FAQ already answered with instructions if any.

An even better option is to provide each individual as to their status of their purchased good e.g. if it is processing or has been completed and the product must be on the way with an exact date and time of receiving. This helps the company gain a little trust and patience as they could now see their purchase status. This also helps the customer support team to deal with real customers real problems that are technical.

Promote business through social media and always keep on updating fresh content

Another very innovative technique is to use bloggers on Google and vloggers on YouTube and Facebook and sponsor them to advertise your product for 10-15 seconds with very specific instructions as to what they have to say and a short how to use film. This helps reach a very vast audience with very low cost.  It is not necessary that a product that failed in the USA for technical reasons will also fail in India.

Snapchat is a very useful tool for businesses to get their product out there in the eyes of a wider audience. Snapchat helps these businesses show off different things like how their product is different, the background, production, usability and the office environment showing smiles giving the customer a sense of hard work with more smiles than sweat.

Some companies have even changed their logos and outer appearance for a better impact on the customer. By using brighter colors and short, attractive slogans can help achieve newer customers. Most small start-ups are using YouTube vloggers to introduce their product and even sometimes make them their product activist. This is a much efficient and cost-saving way than using TV advertisements which is very costly.

Some companies have even resorted to no TV advertisements but somewhat social media, e.g. Snapchat, Instagram to promote their products, e.g. Lamborghini Automotive. Newer car companies are also making their own YouTube channels to improve and show off their concept cars and newer models, e.g. Tesla, Koenigsegg .etc.

Other quick adjustments to attract new customers

Another very well known way to gain new customers is to partner up with another company that has already either been in business, is new with innovation or has a considerable following. This allows for the companies to benefit mutually from the partnership either for long-term or temporary. This has been done throughout history and is not a new idea.

It is also very imperative to know your target audience. This will help you target a specific group who will be your customer people from outside your target demographic will be a surplus. This helps the company stick with one line of action as a strategy. This will affect the way you package, color and show the overall aura of your brand, e.g.

Kids will not a buy juice box that is black and white hence, juice packaging that is aimed at kids is mostly bright in color as it catches the attention of the viewer’s eye. Similarly, if you are making extremely sweet nitrogen Ice cream, the primary customers will not cross the age of 35 or 40 at most. Similarly, Ferrari was aimed at young millionaires hence it is spaced and colored accordingly however on the other hand rolls Royce is aimed at much older gentlemen who are now retired. Therefore, it speaks luxury signifying that they made it.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

 

Nail These 3 Strategies Before You Launch Your Social-Media Campaign

 

In today’s digital era, every business dreams to execute the perfect social media campaign to stay competitive. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or run a small business, the need to launch your social media campaign is becoming inevitable over time.

Some of the biggest businesses of our times are known to create strong social media campaigns. Not only these promotions lead to increased profits, these campaigns allow a business to connect with their consumers, on a human level.

Already, a large part of today’s online content has now moved on to social media. It is natural for businesses to work on creating the best social media campaign that is crafted to bridge the gap between businesses and their consumers.

Why do you need a social-media campaign?

  • Boost awareness
  • Increase loyalty
  • Earn more profits

When you spread awareness and offer solutions to your target audience’s problems, you automatically get a decent number of loyal customers.

Three Strategies you must nail before launching your Social Media Campaign

But before you implement your social-media strategy, here are 3 strategies you must work on to get the most out of your campaign.

1. Set a Goal

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t know what you want to achieve through your campaign. Your goal defines the content and sets the mood for your social media plan. When you put your audience first, you are eventually able to plan and execute a successful campaign on all channels.

Do your homework to know the needs, wants and challenges your audience faces every day. Companies can collect relevant information through surveys or study their consumer behavior to identify the most common problems.

Talk it out with your marketing team. Explain how your products or services aim to change the current scenario. When you clearly define the goals of your campaign, you are able to work on the heart and soul of your brand. This is the ‘one thing’ that sets you apart from your rivals.

Some common goals that today’s aspiring and established companies wish to achieve through a social media campaign include getting more followers, creating interest in a new product and building your mailing list. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful social media campaign. Hence, you need to define goals and objectives every time you are launching a new campaign.

There are many other factors that you need to focus on to guarantee true success.

  • Which platforms will work best?
  • What kind of content should I create?
  • Do I need to include a video in my campaign?
  • How do I assess and track results?

Once a business finds clear and precise answers to these questions, it is easier to design and deploy a campaign.

2. Setting a Calendar

Now that you’ve done all the strategic part of launching the promotion, you need to create a schedule or a yearly plan. Your marketing team sets a fixed schedule that also includes important events, product launches and your business accomplishments. A calendar makes it convenient for a company to initiate, assess and implement your campaigns.

There are many benefits of sticking to a fixed schedule. A calendar allows businesses to work on each individual channel. For instance, having separate posting schedules for your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts will let you create personalized content, ahead of time.

While Facebook continues to dominate all other social networks with roughly two billion monthly users, don’t forget to include other mediums such as Pinterest and YouTube. Since video content is going to capture more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2021, it is important that you also include a video strategy to attract more users.

If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, it is a great idea to start working on a couple of social media channels before embracing them all. Once you have a respectable fan following on one channel, you can direct your traffic to another medium.

3. Monitor Outcomes

What’s the point of creating or deploying a social media campaign when you fail to track down its progress? The truth is that it is crucial that you utilize analytic tools and metrics to judge the overall performance of your strategy.

If you do not know what tools or methods will give you the best tracking results, make sure you work with the best marketing team to help you gain valuable insights.

One thing to note is that the metrics of a campaign may change with its goal. For instance, if your promotional strategy is aimed at awareness, measure growth and engagement. The metrics also include shares, likes and dislikes.

If your business wants to boost its sales, track click rates, conversion rates and shares.

When you have designed a campaign to increase loyalty, look for sentiments, engagement and influence.

What else should you do?

The secret lies to know your audience for creating the content that clicks with them. For instance, Facebook dominates all mediums as 68% of American users are active on this network. But, Facebook works better when a company is targeting older users.

If you are launching a promotion for a younger audiences choose Instagram. If you are uploading videos or tutorials, YouTube continues to beat other streaming networks. Since Google now owns YouTube, uploading your content on your official YouTube channel may also improve your rankings.

Moreover, there are many social media celebrities who can endorse your products or services. Can you imagine the effect it will make on your audience? Identify key influencers in your particular niche. Partner with the most influential personalities in your industry to spread your brand message.

This tip works because the influencer you’re connecting to already has a massive network. This strategy is a hybrid of new and old marketing tactics.

Bottom Line

The implementation part revolves around narrowing in on the daily tasks. Once your marketing team has nailed the 3 strategies, the rest of the work becomes less-complicated.

Moreover, it’s not always about the size of your budget, but how you spend your marketing dollars. Sometimes, smaller brands deploy more popular social media campaigns than big brands that spend millions on promotion.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Cutting Costs without Reducing Your Team Is Indeed Possible

One of the things that many businesses around the world are notorious for is layoffs of their workers when they have to cut costs. It appears as though the least required asset for these companies is their workers. As brutal as it may sound, many businesses reduce their team sizes to reduce their costs every day. It is quite surprising because there are in fact dozens of different ways for businesses, especially small ones, to cut their costs without sending their employees home. Not to mention, small businesses aren’t in the best position to terminate their employees when they are already struggling with growth and expansion.

Let us first look at the circumstances and reasons why small businesses resort to firing their employees and terminating their contracts.

Reasons Why Businesses Terminate Their Employees

·         Your Employee’s Performance is below Requirements

The biggest and probably the most valid reason for firing an employee is when they are not able to perform according to the set targets. Despite this being a valid reason, you should always follow the complete procedure and let go of your employee most ethically and professionally possible. Tell them that they also have the right to quit a company when a company does not pay them as promised and vice versa.

·         Your Employee Isn’t Honest

You have noticed that your employee is not honest. They try to spend time doing nothing behind your back and are interested in things that they should not be concerned with. It is a risk to have such a worker working at the company.

·         Your Employee Is Having a Hard Time Assimilating

One of the reasons why many employees are not able to give their best is because they can’t fit in the culture of your workplace. It’s either their religious, personal or moral beliefs that don’t let them feel being a part of the team.

·         Your Employee Doesn’t Care

Believe it or not, some employees don’t care about the rules and regulations of your workplace and being at a professional place. They bully people around them, try to act pretentious, are not punctual and do not pay any attention to the dress code policy.

·         Your Employees Cost You Too Much

This is quite an oxymoronic situation where the people who bring you business are the ones costing you money. Sometimes, companies become financially weak, and the only way they have to reduce their costs is firing employees. This helps them save money on employee compensation, bonuses, and incentives.

Is Employee Termination the Only Way to Cut Costs?

Not at all! There are many other ways for companies to reduce their costs without letting go of their employees. Here are some.

·         Negotiations with Vendors and Suppliers

You can look into your current list of suppliers and vendors and look for opportunities to reduce costs. You have to realize that there are group purchasing organizations developed specifically for this purpose. Furthermore, there are online search engines designed specifically for businesses where you can find other businesses that can help you reduce your costs.

·         Buy in Bulk

One simple way to reduce your costs is to purchase in bulk. Whether you are buying products or subscribing to software or online platform services, bulk purchases will always help you reduce your costs. As a business, you are subscribed to dozens of different online services and buy various items on a monthly or weekly basis. Buy them for several months or a complete year to save your costs.

·         Reduce Lavish Expenses for Now

It is amazing that businesses offer their employees with refreshments, coffee, and teas for free, but there is a time when you can do this with ease. Until and unless you have reached a point where affording such luxuries do not bother you at all, do not introduce them.

·         Invest in the Right Technology

Whether you are buying an electric generator for your office, bulbs and lights, ceiling fans, air conditioning units or machinery, you must invest in latest and energy-efficient technology.

·         Market Wisely

Marketing can suck a lot of your capital out of business depending on the type of marketing you are doing. However, it will be rewarding for you if you use analytical data to narrow down only the marketing campaigns that are lucrative for your business. Spend on them and keep away from spending on marketing efforts that have not yielded any good results.

Similarly, you can find many other ways to reduce your costs without sending your employees home.

Risks Associated with Firing Your Employees

While firing your employees should be the last thing on your list of methods to cut costs, you must also know the many risks that come with employee termination. Here are a few.

·         Sharing of Company Secrets with Competitors

When employees are not happy with your decision of firing them, they may not care about what action you can take against them. They may go for interviews with your competitors and share your trade secrets. This can be a big set-back for you if your competitor decides to take advantage of the situation.

·         Lawsuits

When employees believe they have been fired based on unreasonable grounds, they may try to take you to court. If any wrongful termination is proved, it can be expensive for your company. Always be sure to complete the procedure of termination or make sure the termination is justified.

·         Attack on Brand Image through Social Media

Today, people have a voice, and some people are ready to listen to their voice. Social networking platforms are great places for employees to discredit your brand and slander your image if they believe they were terminated by you wrongfully.

·         Bad Performance of Existing Employees

It does not matter how much you care about your employees. They may have a stronger connection among themselves than they have with you. Therefore, when you terminate an employee and cause some dissention among the ranks.

So, it is highly recommended that you consider the many other ways of cutting costs for your small business before choosing to terminate your employees.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

Guidelines For Successful Postings

Guidelines For Successful Postings

Rules and Guidelines For Successful Postings

Posting your Funding request is essential part of raising capital as creating your Business Plan. In order for you to get the funding you should be able to catch the eyes of the investors. Here are some tips you can follow to attract Investors and funding providers.

Title. Make your title attractive this is the first section our investors will see. Include the title of your business or invention. Make it enticing and give them something they want to hear and continue reading to your letter.

Posting. Write a short summary of your Business idea or Invention that will catch investor’s attention. Make it 2 to 3 paragraph short and make it concise and simple. Avoid too much information and do not copy and paste your Executive Summary. Your posting is not to be confused with a chat or blog. You are selling you and your business to investors and funding providers to raise capital and any posting that is not about your business is not allowed. Remember, concise and to-the-point.

Attach your Business Plan or Executive Summary. If you are looking for an Angel Investor or Venture Capital make sure you attach your Business Plan don’t wait for the investors to ask your Business Plan. Remember your Business Plan is the eye view of your business/invention.  If you don’t have a Business Plan yet at least upload an executive summary.  (You can use the Free Executive Summary template available upon creating your membership). This will give the investor the immediate reaction that you are serious in getting funds.

Private or Public posting. We have two ways of posting your request either public or private post. If you publically post be aware that everyone who not a member of funded.com will see your postings. While private posting only our registered investors and funding providers can see your funding request.

Avoid Personal Information. Even though we pre-screen funding providers, it is an ever increasingly large group and it is ultimately up to you to protect yourself from anyone saying who they are not and promptly reporting any concerns to us. Therefore we suggest not putting your email or telephone number on a public post. Private postings may not have the traffic like a public posting but is limited to our investor network that is viewing your funding request. Keep in mind that if there are investors that are interested in knowing your business venture they can always email you via funded.com and you will receive an email notification on your personal email if they replied on your posting.

Be patient for responses give some time to our investors to see your request. If you are not getting any responses try to re-write or revised your posting. You may also call us and we can look at your posting and give you tips for success.  Try to be more creative and remember you want to create interest in your business or idea and sometime it takes time for investors and funding providers to notice you, especially the right one that will fund you.

 

 

 

Make the Right Choice: Should You Use Your Retirement Savings?

In the United States, it is very common for people to save up by opening retirement accounts. The problem with this kind of set-up, however, is that the money is expected to stay in the account until you reach retirement age. But what would you do in case of emergencies? Of course you can take out your money from your retirement account even if you are not yet retired. But you have to understand that this would lead to penalties and other tax deductions.

Most of the time, people open an employer-based or an individual retirement account that would be tax-free once they reach 59 and a half. The catch, however, is that if you decide to take some money from your retirement account before you reach your retirement age, it would usually be subjected to state and federal taxes on top of a 10 percent penalty. Yes, withdrawals will have tax deductions because these are considered as “incomes.”

Withdrawing your money before your retirement age is similar to pulling out an investment at the worst possible condition of the market. It’s like selling equities in a down market, a move that would nonetheless cut the probability of earning more from your business.

Thus, before meddling with what’s in your retirement account, you should try to look into other alternatives such as applying for a home equity loan, taking a line of credit, or asking a friend or family member for some money to borrow. These three are great alternatives, especially if you are expecting something some income in the future.

Aside from these, one must think about an intra-family loan which is a really good option since the interest rates set by the Internal Revenue Service are very minimal. In August, for instance, the interest rate was at a measly 0.3 percent for loans that will run for three years. For loans that will for more than nine years, meanwhile, Continue reading “Make the Right Choice: Should You Use Your Retirement Savings?”

Convincing Investors Your Business Idea is Really Worth the Risk

How do you convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of investing money? You may have the most innovative and creative idea ever put forth, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to invest in it. Even a good idea can flop if it’s not implemented correctly. Of course, the most well known example in business history is the 1958 Edsel. The car had a poor name, a poor pricing strategy and was manufactured during a recession. It remains to be seen if the modern day Chevy volt will be classified as the “new” Edsel for similar reasons.

Investors are willing to accept risk, but they will do everything in their power to ensure they understand how much risk is involved. Investors are not the same as business speculators in most cases because they want a value proposition that includes a very good probability of earning positive returns. There are many different factors investors will consider to determine risk, and you should assess them first.

Risk is a function of management competencies, available collateral, market acceptance of the business idea and time. To convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of funding, you will have to first prove that the people implementing the plan are fully competent and capable of running a business.  Investors will also want reliable collateral. You need to show that the product or services can be efficiently brought to a willing market. Finally, the investor will want to assurances that the payback agreement in terms of time will be met. Payback in terms of money is taken care of by the other factors of competency, market success and collateral.

You can convince investors to fund your projects by developing a sophisticated business plan that clearly and carefully shows the level of risk the investor is assuming. The good news is that the time spent developing a business plan in the first place reduces risk right away.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Crowdfunding Facilitated with New Legislation

Smaller investors can now be solicited via the internet to pool resources in a practice called crowdfunding. The recently passed Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS Act) sent to President Obama for signing is designed to make it easier for small businesses to raise capital. The main foundation of the legislation rests in giving businesses the ability to raise a limited amount of seed money or growth capital by encouraging investors to visit an SEC registered website where projects are listed.

The SEC registered websites will be used by entrepreneurs to list their businesses and present their funding needs. To drive potential investors to the website, the business will notify family, friends, customers and other individual investors that the business is listed by using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and other internet based communication systems. The potential investors can visit the website, read about the business idea and then operate as a community to analyze and pick apart the business idea, investment opportunity, business model and so on. Once the business idea is accepted, investment money is sent by individual investors, accumulated and eventually transferred once the funding target is met. There are a number of other requirements, rules and limitations associated with this legislation, and this is only a brief summary of the law.

Legislating crowdfunding is considered by many to be an important step towards making it easier for people to become investors in small businesses. With tight capital markets, this new form of business funding can become an important source of money for startups and small businesses having difficulty accessing traditional funding sources. Professionals who connect businesses with investors can provide more information about the new legislation, and other sources of funding, and provide critical assistance with developing a successful business plan that attracts funding.

Browse www.funded.com for more advice about getting your business funded.