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How a Business Email Address Can Hurt or Help Your Financing Efforts

By Marco Carbajo, Guest Blogger
Published: July 17, 2012

We can all agree that email is another tool used for exchanging information. But when it comes to business, it plays a much greater role then many people seem to realize.

Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes business owners make is obtaining a business email account from one of the many free email services available on the Internet. While a free email services does serve a purpose, it can give a bad impression to a potential customer or even hurt your chances for obtaining credit because some creditors require a dedicated business email account.

You can help your business by obtaining a business email account that clearly shows that your company has a personalized domain name. The email address you set up should have @yourbusinessname.com. Not only does this look professional, but it also shows that you are a “real” company with a dedicated communications system.

The first thing you will need to do is register a domain name for your business with an approved domain registrar.

Once you visit the site, you will need to conduct a domain search to see if a .COM for your company name is available. I strongly suggest that you obtain a .COM because it adds another layer of credibility and professionalism to your business as opposed to a .Biz or .Net name.

If your company name is not available as a .COM, then consider searching for a .COM with the extension of your structure title as well. For example, ABC Company.com may not be available, but try ABC CompanyLLC.com as an alternative.

Be prepared to supply the following information when setting up your business email account:

  1. Name, company name, address and phone number
  2. Administrative contact information
  3. Technical contact information
  4. Domain Name System (DNS) server details

The DNS server is usually provided by the web hosting company that you use to host your website. If you don’t have a website, you can have your domain name parked on your registrar’s servers until you set one up. This can be done afterwards and you can always contact their tech support for additional help.

Once you register a domain name, you will be able to set up a business email account associated with your new domain name. When you select an email address, keep it simple because you will be supplying this information on all your company documents, applications, registrations and so on.

If you decide to establish multiple email addresses like ceo@abccompany.com, support@abccompany.com and sales@abccompany.com, make sure you use only one of these email addresses on all things related to the business credit building process.

It’s essential that you understand how lenders and credit providers assess the creditworthiness of a business. Even though it may seem like a minor detail, having a dedicated business email account does play a role in the decision making process. Small details like this that get overlooked can cause problems for you later on.

About the author

Marco Carbajo is CEO of the Business Credit Insiders Circle (http://www.businesscreditblogger.com), a step-by-step business credit building system providing credit recovery, lines of credit, business credit cards, trade credit, and funding sources.

About the Author:

Marco Carbajo
Marco Carbajo

Guest Blogger

Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in 'Fox Small Business','American Express Small Business', 'Business Week', 'The Washington Post', 'The New York Times', 'The San Francisco Tribune',‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.

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Operation Boots to Business Introduces Returning Veterans to Entrepreneurship

Published: July 12, 2012

Our mission in the Office of Veterans Business Development is to support the men and women who have returned home from active duty and are interested in starting or purchasing their own business. 

Veterans already over-index in entrepreneurship.  Nine percent of all U.S. firms are owned by veterans.  More than 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5.75 million individuals.  So we know that providing greater access and opportunity to these veteran-owned small businesses will strengthen the American economy and help create jobs. 

We already have numerous programs at SBA specifically designed to support our veterans.  For veterans who are establishing or expanding their small business we have a range of financing opportunities including microloans and Patriot Express Loans.  There are Veteran Business Outreach Centers to train and counsel veterans, and this year we created the Mentor-Protégé Program for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses to help veterans learn how to do business with the federal government. 

But, as a veteran myself, I am confident that there is more we can be doing to support our returning service men and women.  That’s why we have created Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, to teach service members the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business. 

Veterans are natural entrepreneurs, already possessing the experience and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs.  Boots to Business will leverage SBA’s existing collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to provide training materials specifically geared toward transitioning service members to become entrepreneurs. 

SBA currently offers three programs through its partnership with Syracuse University. The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities delivers entrepreneurship training through a one-year “boot camp” for service-disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who want to start or grow small businesses.  Operation Endure & Grow expands on the SBA and Syracuse University ”boot camp” and provides high quality training, networking and mentoring to support Reservists and U.S. Military family members.  And Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship delivers high quality training, networking and mentoring to women veterans. 

Boots to Business will take these programs one step further, by providing exposure to entrepreneurship training to all 250,000 service members who transition from active duty to civilian life each year. 

If you are a transitioning Marine interested in registering for the program, visit the Boots to Business registration page.

The pilot program is currently being launched with the Marine Corps at four locations-- Quantico, VA; Cherry Point, NC; Camp Pendleton, CA; and Twenty-Nine Palms, CA.  The initiative will include three phases of instruction: a short introductory video on entrepreneurship; an in-person classroom training on entrepreneurship; and an in-depth, online, 8-week entrepreneurship course that leads to the creation of a business plan. 

Through this initiative, we will work with our entire team of resource partners to deliver an effective introduction to entrepreneurship to returning service men and women so they can learn about the opportunities and realities of owning a small business.  I’m excited about this opportunity to help our veterans start businesses, create jobs and ultimately help lead the American economy to a stronger recovery. 

Semper Fidelis,

M. Rhett Jeppson

About the Author:

Rhett Jeppson
Rhett Jeppson is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.

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Can You Become A Part-Time Franchisee?

By FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
Published: July 3, 2012 Updated: January 3, 2013

Is it possible to find a legitimate franchise opportunity that only requires a few hours a week to run? And, if you do find a part-time franchise, can you make enough money for it to be worth your up-front investment, and of course, your time? Let’s find out.

First off, it’s important for you to be able to distinguish a true franchise-type of business, from a non-franchise business.

In most cases, franchise ownership offers:

·       A proven business system that’s easy to replicate

·       A formal training program

·       Proprietary software and technology

·       Marketing and advertising tools and systems

·       A support team

·       Formal and lengthy contracts

·       Protected territories

Non-Franchise Businesses

Business Opportunities, or Biz Opps, as they’re sometimes called, aren’t very structured when compared to a franchise business. You won’t usually find territory restrictions with a business opportunity, and there are no royalties.*

In addition, the total investment amount is usually less than a franchise business.

While there may be training, and even some marketing tools, the support structure isn’t as tight as it is with a franchise business system.

(It's not because purveyors of Business opportunities are mean-spirited people that they don't supply a tight support structure. It has to do with the business model; in a Business Opportunity, the investment amount is collected up-front. There’s no royalty-stream coming in that could support a lot of well…support, in this type of business set-up.) 

There’s another type of non-franchise business that’s worth mentioning here; Network Marketing businesses. Also known as MLM’s (Multi-Level Marketing) these businesses are almost always marketed as “Part-Time Opportunities.”   

There isn’t enough space here for me to go over all the pros and cons of a Network Marketing business. Suffice to say, there’s a plethora of information available, including an article I found over at FTC.Gov that defines Network Marketing businesses in easy to understand terms.

 Part-Time Franchise Opportunities

While the thought of owning a franchise that doesn’t require a full-time commitment may be appealing to you, the reality is that there are very few franchise concepts around that fall into that category. Most franchises are designed to be owner-operated, with the owner on the premises.

But, if you do have your heart set on investing in a franchise that can allow you the flexibility to not be there all the time, know this; you’ll probably need deep pockets. That’s because most of the franchises that tout things like “flexibility” in their marketing methods are multi-unit ownership opportunities.

In addition to the promise of flexibility that several franchisors offer their franchisees, there’s another option offered in the franchise marketplace that may also have a nice ring to it for you. Ready?

How would you like to keep the job you have while you start a franchise business?

Right off the bat, it’s very appealing, cash-flow wise. That’s because if you can keep your day job while launching a new franchise business,* you’ll have cash coming in-via your paycheck, and that can really give you some breathing room.

To summarize, if you have a pretty sizeable net worth, want a lot of flexibility, and like the idea of maybe being able to keep your current job while your new business launches, there are opportunities available in the franchise marketplace.

*Non US-Government links

More resources

An Overview of Franchising- SBA.Gov

5 Franchise Tips From SCORE

 

 

 

About the Author:

FranchiseKing
Joel Libava

Guest Blogger

The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of Become a Franchise Owner! and is a franchise ownership advisor. He coaches people on how to carefully choose and properly research franchises.   

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Do the Credit Cards for your Business Report to your Personal Credit Reports?

By Marco Carbajo, Guest Blogger
Published: June 19, 2012

Due to the growing difficulty in obtaining traditional business lines of credit from banks, many business owners are turning to credit cards for small businesses as their primary unsecured business lines of credit.

Unfortunately, the majority is turning to the wrong sources. They end up putting their personal credit on the line and all their business credit card debts show up on their personal credit reports.

This means that anytime you use your business credit cards, your personal debt/credit ratios are affected. Did you know that drawing a large portion of funds from these types of business credit cards can result in your personal credit scores dropping anywhere from 20-100 points overnight?

Some of the largest financial institutions offering business credit cards report to your personal credit. This negatively impacts your scores.

Do your current business credit cards report to your personal credit reports?

If so, you should consider obtaining several true business credit cards that do not report. This will shelter your personal credit for personal necessities such as auto loans, mortgages, student loans and personal credit cards.

Unsecured credit lines such as business credit cards have been around for a long time. They are no secret to the wealthy and savvy business owners. When properly structured, they do not report to your personal credit reports. They can be excellent cash flow tools, as the monthly debt service is usually lower than almost any other form of financing. The rates are usually very good, too–usually between 3-7% above prime.

So where can you find business credit cards that do not report to personal credit?

Well, the good news is there are credit cards that only report to the business credit bureaus. The bad news is the credit card issuers for these types of cards do not advertise this fact.

First, while there are hundreds of credit cards for small businesses available in the marketplace, only a handful of major companies issue and service all these consumer and business credit cards.

So when you see a financial institution launch a new credit card program with its own branded label, in most cases it always includes a partnership with a leading agent credit card issuer to provide and service the actual credit card products to its customers.   

The agent credit card issuer is the company that actually underwrites, issues and services the credit card customer. As you may know, part of account servicing includes credit reporting.

You have two options if you want to locate these types of credit cards for your business. First, you can utilize a business credit service because they know firsthand which lenders are lending, which ones report to only the business credit bureaus, and whether you and your business will be a good fit for them.

Your second option is to do it on your own. But, you will need to know which lenders offer unsecured business credit without full income documentation. In addition, you will need to find out which ones do not report to your personal credit reports.

Finally, you should be aware of which credit bureaus are pulled by each lender so you can properly plan the series of applications. These are just a few of the questions to address prior to doing it on your own.

 

About the author

Marco Carbajo is CEO of the Business Credit Insiders Circle (http://www.businesscreditblogger.com), a step-by-step business credit building system providing credit recovery, lines of credit, business credit cards, trade credit, and funding sources.

About the Author:

Marco Carbajo
Marco Carbajo

Guest Blogger

Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in 'Fox Small Business','American Express Small Business', 'Business Week', 'The Washington Post', 'The New York Times', 'The San Francisco Tribune',‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.

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You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

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