If you run a company, your business credit profile is related to your reputation. With a strong business credit profile, you have access to much greater financing opportunities with favorable terms and lower interest rates. For lenders, a company with a creditworthy profile is considered a good risk. Whether you own a startup or existing business, managing and protecting your profile with all three major business credit reporting agencies is crucial. Here are ten essential tips for establishing, maintaining and protecting your business credit...
It’s frustrating to see small businesses give up on social media as a marketing channel after just a few months of effort. Usually the heart of the problem is a weak or nonexistent content marketing strategy. Without a strategy, there can be no meaningful, long-term engagement. Engagement doesn't happen like spontaneous combustion. Content is at the center of engagement. But it’s not as simple as just slapping up some content on your social channels or blog. A small business needs a content strategy to create highly...
Do you think direct mail has gone the way of the dinosaur? Think again. In 2013, nearly two-thirds of all consumers bought something as a result of a direct mail piece, according to the Direct Mail Association (DMA). Not surprisingly, people age 65 and older are prime candidates for direct mail, since they tend to stay at the same address for many years and they enjoy reading their mail. What might surprise you is that young adults aged 18 to 34 are also highly responsive to direct mail, according to Epsilon. Why? Because young people...
We’ve finally turned the corner on tax season and as a small business owner you may be thinking, if we made that much in sales last year, where did it all go? and How will we hang on until this year’s busy season is in full swing? If you’ve had thoughts like these you are certainly not alone. As if running a small business weren’t hard enough, seasonality makes it even tougher. Use the following advice from financial experts to help you plan ahead for the inevitable ebbs and flows of cash. Avoid the Cash Flow Pitfalls...
Good news: Here's a simple process, five easy steps, to improve your business. It's easy to do. And, if you're not doing something like this already, then this simple addition to your process offers you substantial business improvement. Step 1: Visualize your main story Take a step back for the business and visualize the main business story. Imagine the ideal customer, what they want from your business, how they find you, and how what you do matches your business' unique qualities and what that specific person wants. Don't...
Having business income but being unable to cover anticipated taxes on the income through wage withholding means you’ll have to pay estimated taxes. You’ll have to project what you think you’ll owe for the year and then pay them in four installments to the government. If you underpay, you can be subject to penalties. If you overpay, you’ll effectively have made an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam and will have to file your return after the close of the year to recoup the excess tax payments. Unlike withholding on taxable...
Whether you’ve been in business for a couple of weeks or five years, access to cash is a crucial element of survival for a business. When the going gets tough, a business can fail unless it has access to cash on demand. For business owners, getting unsecured business lines of credit is by far the best choice for having that cash on demand. The fact is that business owners want access to funds – whenever they need it, at a competitive rate and with flexible payment options. The National Federation of Independent Businesses says,...
We all want to feel good. We all want to have pleasant experiences. And, we’re willing to pay for them. We’re willing to pay to ensure we get our fair share of the good things in life. If you’re looking to become a franchise owner, have you thought about targeting opportunities that provide feel-good products and services? Feel-Good Franchise Opportunities Opportunities that make people feel good run the gamut from franchises in the spa industry to franchises that promote fitness. Here are some examples of franchises in the...
If you travel in your work, it can be a challenge to get much done in between catching flights, attending meetings and trying to get a little shuteye. And yet, the wheels of your business are still churning. Here’s how to stay on top of your email and task list so that it doesn’t overwhelm you when you get back into the office. Don’t Overestimate Your Capacity Most people vastly overestimate how much work they will get done while traveling. I find I almost never have as much time to handle my regular...
Sometimes, it’s tough for a business owner to see what everyone else does. Like an elderly person happily ensconced in a house they last redecorated in 1972, you don’t realize your website is the design equivalent of an avocado green refrigerator, or your logo looks about as current as orange shag carpeting. Is your business brand outdated? Here’s how to examine your brand with a critical eye and see if it needs a refresher. First, understand what a brand is. More than your logo, font or website colors, more than your...
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