Tag Archives: business

What Are Business Loans?

What Are Business Loans?

Business loans can be defined as money lent for a specified amount of time at a specific interest rate to a specific person or people that operate a business or plan to operate a business. This definition is very broad, but so are the various types of loans available to business people. Deciding on which type of business loan that you and your company will benefit from the most is very important. Often times, a start-up business or someone that has never owned a business will find themselves more or less applying for a “personal” loan. This can be a very risky endeavor, mixing business loans with personal loans, however, often times it is the only available means for first time business owners.
One of the first things personal business owners need to do is establish business credit. Business credit can help you get a business only loan without using your personal credit. Establishing business credit can be done by:
1.) Opening up a business credit card account and paying it in full.
2.) Buying equipment and supplies from companies that will report good standing to the business credit bureaus.
3.) Having a good business plan with potential earnings, letters of intent, and any type of customer contracts already laid out.
All of these types of endeavors can help in receiving a business loan. Often times, financial institutions require in-depth business plans, be prepared to spend days working on just the certification paperwork prior to applying for a business loan. A business only loan can be obtained in the business name without use of personal credit as long as the business can justify the loan amount and the ability to pay it back.
There are several different types of business loans available, ranging from those secured with collateral, non-secure loans, which are based upon the credit worthiness of the applicant, and even government loans for small business ventures, women and minorities. Government loans are those loans secured by the government; in most instances these loans are available when the business or owner can prove that the community will prosper based upon the business at hand. For the most part, government loans are based upon personal credit.
The basis for which you may need or require a business loan may vary. Some of the most common business loans available to business owners are:
Acquisitions or a loan to acquire an existing business
Inventory loans
Account Receivable Loans
Working Capital Loans which converts a companies assets into working capital
Equipment Leasing
Commercial Property loans
Warehouse financing
International business loans
Franchise loans
One of the most important tools when deciding on what type of business loan your company needs is research. Researching the different types of loans available to you and your company can save you money. First, look into the different type of business loans available to you in your state. Many states have government loans available; some even offer grants, which is money available for specific purposes that do not require repayment. Research the different type of Federal loans available. You can do this at the following website: www.sba.gov. Call your local bank and investment companies regarding the business loans they have available for you. Many times, business loans are not that hard to acquire. With research and a good business plan, your dreams may come true.

Who Are Business Angels?

Who Are Business Angels?

Business Angels are people who like to invest in struggling businesses which they think have a good chance of making it in the business with some financial backing as well as businesses that are just starting up. These businesses will need help financially to start-up with the purchase of stock and equipment.

Business Angels usually come from an entrepreneurial background and therefore know the troubles you may go through and that finance is one of the most important factors in any start-up business and especially in a business that is struggling financially. A Business Angel will usually only offer financial backing if they think your business stands a good chance of succeeding.

The amount of finance they offer you depends on the business plan you put forward. They will need to see every little detail of your business from who your suppliers are and how much they charge to how much you offer a product or service at. They will want to see all your ingoing’s and outgoings for the last year if your business is struggling. If it’s a new business venture you’re trying to gain finance for, you will need a good plan showing the revenue of the business over the next few years as you see it.

A Business Angel can offer from £10,000 to £75,000 to help regenerate your business or get your business off the ground. Some Business Angels may be willing to work as an Angel Syndicate and can then offer from £100,000 to £250,000. The average amount a Business Angels invests in a company is around £75,000. All Business Angels want a good return on their investment and this is often done by their high percentage share of your business which they get back at a much higher price in a few years.

There is a difference between Business Angels and Venture Capitalists this is that Business Angels take less control of your business they don’t usually want the bother of a director’s or management job and would rather invest in your business and give you some advice if you need it. Due to this, their investment decisions are usually a lot quicker than Venture Capitalists.

Whoever you get investment from whether it be a bank, a loan company or a business angel you will need a well planned and thorough business plan. Your business plan will show what your intended goals are and any ideas you have for the future as well as the planned income of the business for the first few years. Every business plan should be regularly updated to keep up to date any changes with the business internally or externally and also any new pointers you’ve put in place.

Not only will you use your business plan to help secure business finance from a Business Angels but also it will help you run your business more effectively and efficiently. So why wait if you’re looking to raise finance for your start-up or struggling business contact a Business Angel today for financial help and advice.

Successfully Obtaining a Small Business Loan

Successfully Obtaining a Small Business Loan

Working with a bank to obtain a small business loan can be an easy or difficult process, depending on how prepared you are to meet with the lender and discuss your business’ situation and needs.
One of the leading causes of business failure is insufficient start-up capital. Ironically, though, lenders rarely approve loan requests for the businesses that have the highest need for a small business loan. Instead, lenders tend to prefer to offer small business loans to those businesses that have been in operation for two or more years.
According to All Business, it is estimated that 95 percent of all entrepreneurs opened their businesses with capital from their own pockets, or from money they borrowed from relatives, friends, or another person in their community. Lenders want to see business owners risk their own funds in the business venture, and often require that the business owner or owners provide a minimum of 25 percent of the capital needed to start a business, and at least that much equity in the business if the business is already in existence. Simply stated, lenders aren’t as willing to take a risk when a business owner doesn’t even risk their own money in the investment. Businesses with a history demonstrating success in paying their bills for two and a half to three years will have the easiest time obtaining a small business loan because they’ve proven their ability to meet financial obligations.
Preparing a Small Business Loan Proposal
When preparing to apply for a small business loan, be prepared to face the facts that are against you, and use them in your favor. Persistency is necessary if you want to land a small business loan. Lenders follow certain criteria to determine if the small business loan is a wise investment for the bank. Most importantly, the bank will determine if the small business loan is likely to be repaid. As with other businesses, banks and other lenders must answer to their investors and stockholders, and unpaid loans show instability in the bank or financial institution.
Items compiled into a small business loan request include the following:
– Amount of money requested
– Likeliness of business profitability and demonstration of cash flow needed to service a small business loan
– Collateral, if any is owned by the business
– A reasonable balance between debt and equity
Know Your Banker
Whether you have a start-up small business or an established small business, the first step in obtaining financing through a small business loan is to develop a business relationship with your banker. Consider asking your bank’s manager to open a file for your business, and provide quarterly or yearly profit and loss statements. When your business is in need of financing, the bank will already have a file and will be at least somewhat familiar with your operations. When the time comes to apply for a small business loan, approach the banker with a solid business plan to inspire the lender’s confidence in your business. Provide information on business operations, marketing efforts, management ability, and financial projections for three years, as well as a cash flow projection and personal balance sheet demonstrating the worthiness of the business.
To prove worthiness for a small business loan, prepare proper documentation. Keep your credit reports as clean as possible. A lender will assume that you operate your business in the same manner that you manage your personal finances. The lower your credit rating, the slimmer your chances are of obtaining a small business loan.
When applying for a small business loan, search for a lender by first approaching the bank or banks in which you currently do business. Since you’ll need to share all of your personal and business financial information, it can be beneficial to apply with a financial institution that already has that information on file and is perhaps familiar with your profile and spending habits. If your credit rating is high, your changes are good of being approved for the small business loan.
If you are unable to work with a bank or credit union in which you currently do business, or if you’d prefer not to work with your bank or credit union for your small business loan, look for a lender who wants your business. Search the business section of your local newspapers for special financing offers on small business loans and other loans. These lenders are actively looking for people needing small business loans, and the process of obtaining a small business loan with these types of lenders may be easier and faster. Additionally, check into credit unions. Because credit unions tend to be smaller financial institutions, you may be able to speak directly with a loan decision maker. Larger banks and other types of large lenders may have more rigid rules for small business loans, and the processes that they employ may be more complicated for small business loans.
If, at First, You Don’t Succeed
If your first attempt at obtaining a small business loan fails, don’t be discouraged. Small business loans are often not approved with the first lender that you approach, and be assured that you’re not alone. Especially if you have a start-up business, lenders don’t always approve small business loans, even in the most ideal situations. Search for other lenders, or become resourceful and look into other sources for loans rather than a small business loan, including home equity loans and personal loans, both of which can be used for business purposes.

Secured business loans: before you take that big business leap

Secured business loans: before you take that big business leap

Business loans form a significant part of lending industry. With so many people applying for business loans, you must be wondering how many of them actually get them. The increase in amount of business loan every year shows the swelling in approval rate of business loans. So, what are your chances of getting business loans? I say, attach a security to business loans and your chances are bright. Secured business loans are loans for specific purpose namely business. There is no better terminology for business loans with opportunity.

Before you apply for secured business loans check out you borrowing capacity. Every business is different which means there will be no universal method to know the cost and therefore budgeting is important. This enables you to deduce whether you can afford secured business loan or not.

Tuck in those documents! Generally a secured business loan borrower would require few of the documents for approval. First and foremost is the business profile – discussing the nature of business, annual sales, length and time of business ownership. In case of new business you would require to project the loan plan and how the business would be successful enough to pay back the loan. For secured business loans the loan application will also include a loan request. This will include the type of secured business loan required, the amount and the purpose (how the funds will be used).

Secured business loans is secured details about collateral will be integral. The collateral and its details, equity available, equity in the business, borrowed funds and existing cash should be included in details of collateral. Along with collateral you would be required to provide financial statements for yourself and your business. Be ready with personal and business financial statement for three years and current financials statements. With secured business loans you will be asked for owners, partners, officers, stockholders with more than 20% of etc.

A lender looking at your secured business loan application will search for repayment. A borrower can provide a brief repayment statement which includes sources, cash inflow and other information to support it. With secured business loan you are providing collateral which will mean an additional form of security for the lender. This the lender will certainly like! He will have additional repayment to fall back on when you don’t have required funds to payback the loan. Both personal and business assets can act as collateral for secured business loans. If the business loan borrower does not have collateral he should have co-signer who should have collateral to pledge. In a secured business loans application, collateral will be the second most identifiable source of loan repayment after business cash inflow.

A lender will inquire whether your personal or business credit is good or not. Get your latest credit report and make sure it carries accurate information. As you have applied for secured option it means that you would have better choices. However, credit score will modify the interest rates you get for secured business loans. With bad credit score you will be paying higher interest rates as compared to ones with perfect credit.

While preparing to get money it is important to see your financing options. There is both a financial and emotional component while borrowing secured business loans; your property is at stake. Make sure you are ready for it. Then do some market research. Take it as a test where you have to get the best grade. You would probably not start a business without researching the market; make sure you follow this rule while settling on secured business loan. Yet do remember that time is money. And don’t waste too much time in settling on the option.

Every big business starts out small. Secured business loans are in fact the first thing that comes to the mind and provide fundamental opportunity when one is raising money for business and can provide to those who are to those who are looking for funds for business purposes. Secured business loans are what you need when you are looking for business loans with security.

Using a Business Credit Card to Take Control of Your Business

Using a Business Credit Card to Take Control of Your Business

A business credit card can be a great way to take control of you business and ensure your business stays financially secure while still moving forward and growing. The trick is knowing how to use a business card to help make your business a success rather than a failure.

Consolidating Debt

Once of the great aspects of business credit cards is that you can keep all of your business expenditures on just one card. This makes it easier to keep track of what you have spent on your business when it comes to paying taxes. In addition, receiving a monthly bill helps you see just how much money you are spending on your business each month. This ability to monitor expenditures makes it simpler for you to make modifications as necessary. In addition, most business credit cards provide end of the year summaries that make it much easier for you to analyze your annual expenses.

Many business credit cards also provide special introductory offers with low APRs. Some even waive balance transfer fees, making it possible for you to transfer all of you business expenses from other credit cards on to one card. The lower APR can save you money a great deal of money in the long run, particularly if you are unable to pay the bill in full at the end of each billing cycle.

Investing in the Future

A business credit card provides you with a revolving line of credit that makes it easier for you to expand your business whenever necessary. Many business owners, particularly those that are just starting out, need to have money available to them quickly. After all, the only way to grow a business is to invest in it. A business credit card allows you to bypass long loan application processes, thereby making it possible for you to make investments quickly and keep the momentum rolling in the growth of your business.

Look Professional

With business credit cards, you can often get your company logo in addition to its name on the card. There is no doubt this makes your business look more professional. A business credit card is a sign that you are an established, serious business. In addition, just using a business credit card is a great way of marketing your business. As cashiers see your business logo and name, word slowly spreads about your business. It’s one of the easiest marketing strategies you can utilize!

Perks of Business Credit Cards

Many business credit cards provide extra perks that are nice to have as a business owner. Take the time to compare business credit cards to discover what each has to offer and whether or not the benefits are helpful for you and your business. For example, some provide special travel benefits to business cardholders. But, if you do not need to travel frequently for your business, this benefit may not be too attractive. On the other hand, some business credit cards provide discounts at certain office supply stores. If you frequently purchase office supplies for you business, this benefit could potentially save you a great deal of money. Of course, be sure the business credit card you get provides discounts to a store you actually use. Otherwise, you are once again failing to take full advantage of your business credit card.

If you take the time to compare business credit cards, you are guaranteed to find one that offers benefits or rewards programs that will be beneficial to you and to your business. Make sure you weigh all of the benefits and stipulations, including APRs, annual fees, rewards programs, and other perks before deciding on which business credit card is best for you.

Business Software – Adding Efficiency To Business

Business Software – Adding Efficiency To Business

Business software generally means software programs that can be used by business and companies to carry out business activities, or to increase or measure their business productivity. Business software solution is tailor made software for specific business purposes such as railway and airline ticketing system, billing and inventory control system for department stores etc. Business software can do away with any type of business activity such as cash transactions, receipts, issues, returns, rejections, interests, and depreciation, which entail final accounts, profit and loss accounts, balance-sheet etc.

A computer machine and business software are interdependent, with computer technology becoming more advanced with each new software addition. Nowadays even a tiny business entity tends to use small business software for its easy to handle and ready to use features. Many of the business software are plug and play type for which no special computer knowledge is essential. However, for complex calculations, tedious programming and special technical training, business software with learning tools is exceptionally helpful. IT companies on the other hand sometimes use business software for training purposes, enabling modern technologies like medical transcription.

The business software market is a billion dollar industry today and any one with a sound knowledge of the system can make his or her own earnings very easily. Business software has acquired an important position in the economy of developed and developing countries. Software developing countries like India are doing good business by exporting business software to developed countries. The sprawling BPO sector is providing business software solution to many MNCs and domestic companies.

Small business software markets throughout the globe and has captured a substantial part of the software market in recent times. Small business software may include toy and game software, audio-visual software, accounting software etc. Electronic spreadsheet software, a business software solution, has engaged itself successfully in the vast use of microcomputers.

There are standard softwares available for business such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, and Outlook etc., which cater to the everyday needs of most businesses. However custom business softwares have many advantages over standard business software. The custom business software can customize the functions and features in a manner required by the customer, be they automatic generation of letters, automatic sending of emails, deadline reminders, printing of receipts and bills, tracking of customers and orders. Many business softwares use operational research methods and algorithms for optimum utilization of resources, maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Business software has the potential to maximize the efficiency of businesses, systematize the way business is done and keep the business under control.

Get the Best Out of Business Credit Cards

Get the Best Out of Business Credit Cards

Whatever kind of business you might be involved in, be it a small business or a big one, to run the errand of business dealings, operations, expenses towards organizing the business and to save money at the end, it is necessary to own a business credit card which is designed according to the needs of today’s business community.

There are business credit cards for both business people with an ideal credit and for business people who have a bad credit history. Many banks boast that they can issue a tailor made business credit card to suit every business man. An ideal business credit card can be created by choosing between the ones with very less introductory fees, Customizing the expense limits, discounts, business travel rewards etc.

The business credit card makes business very simple as it neatly categorizes business and personal expenses separately avoiding the necessity to secure receipts. It makes tax paying very easy. It is world wide advised fact by financial advisors and accountants to keep separate expenses of business and personal nature.

Money is saved with the usage of business credit cards which offers rewards and discounts. One can get discounts on office supplies and free travel stay, so that hard earned money is saved.

Now a young entrepreneur has an advantage of getting small business credit cards which was not available before. It gives the necessary confidence and security to deal with the financial issues. Today’s business credit cards makes it possible to get cash advances, keeps track of purchases and receipts for making good business. Some of the business credit card companies help in determining if the credit card interest paid is tax deductible or not.

Some credit card companies and banks facilitate the business people to earn reward points for purchases made by them and allow deciding on how and when to spend the earned reward points. There is a possibility to get cash back, or gift certificates, products or services, or even donate to charity. To know more about the benefits the business card offers, it is to find on your own or to consult with your financial advisor.

A business credit card helps in doing business better regardless of the credit history. It helps in decreasing the interest rates over a period of time, and makes it possible to get loan for business. A business credit card is considered as a valuable gift to the entrepreneur. A business credit card can be a boon to business people if it is paid off at the end of every month. If the business man manages his transaction and ensure payment within the time limit, his business will flourish.

Important Features of Business Improvement Programs

Important Features of Business Improvement Programs

There are various reliable training centers on the World Wide Web that allow business owners to actively participate to various professional Business Improvement Programs. Such professional training programs account for a wide range of features including business management, innovative sales and marketing strategies, as well as long-term business planning strategies. Solid Business Improvement Programs are aimed at debating both the basics and the subtleties of proper business management, accounting for all relevant aspects regarding profitability, the customer-employee relation, the development of strategies for achieving short-term and long-term goals and so on.

The extended curriculum provided by professional Business Improvement Programs renders such training courses appropriate for any business owner, regardless of the previous level of training in the branch. While inexperienced business owners can rapidly assimilate valuable information regarding proper business management and marketing solutions, well-trained business owners can further enhance their knowledge and acquire a set of innovative strategies for boosting the profitability and the longevity of their business.

A complete Business Improvement Program can actually guarantee success in virtually any type of business. Considering the fact that all businesses share similar characteristics, following common patterns of development, a reliable Business Improvement Program can enhance the potential of any business, regardless of its nature, size and market position. Structured on multiple levels, Business Improvement Programs rigorously explore and debate a wide range of subjects related to business planning, management, and development, familiarizing attendants with the entire process of running a business.

Professional Business Improvement Programs are taught by the best professionals in the branch, allowing attendants to acquire vital information regarding proper business management. The training programs are well-structured and contain comprehensive materials, stimulating and facilitating the process of learning. Unlike self-study oriented programs, professional Business Improvement Programs involve active participation, allowing attendants to interact with both “business coaches” and the other trainees. In addition, people who participate to Business Improvement Programs are encouraged to freely express their ideas and confront their opinions with other business owners. Business coaches offer prompt and extended feed-back, ensuring that all participants understand the issues discussed during the program.

It is important to note that Business Improvement Programs are not solely focused on theoretical courses. Professional programs often include seminaries and laboratories which are aimed at developing a set of practical, managerial, negotiation and interaction skills and abilities, crucial in the process of achieving and maintaining a successful business.

By attending to a professional Business Improvement Program, business owners can rapidly assimilate a complete set of knowledge and practical abilities, vital in the process of management. With the help of such training programs, business owners can effectively increase sales by implementing new marketing strategies and by attracting new potential customers to their business. Thanks to their proved efficiency and reliability, Business Improvement Programs are recommended by thousands of business owners worldwide!

Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette

When doing business abroad it is important to understand the local culture. Culture includes areas such as a country’s norms, values, behaviours, food, architecture, fashion and art. However, one area of culture that is important for the international business person is etiquette.
Understanding business etiquette allows you to feel comfortable in your dealings with foreign friends, colleagues, customers or clients. Knowing what to do and say in the right places will help build trust and open lines of communication.
One aspect of etiquette that is of great importance internationally is the exchanging of business cards.
Unlike in North America or Europe where the business card has little meaning other than a convenient form of capturing essential personal details, in other parts of the world the business card has very different meanings.
For example, in Japan the business card is viewed as a representation of the owner. Therefore proper business etiquette demands one treats the business card with respect and honour.
Below we have provided you with a few examples of international business card exchange etiquette that may help you on your business trips abroad.
General Business Card Etiquette Tips:
Business cards are an internationally recognised means of presenting personal contact details, so ensure you have a plentiful supply.
Demonstrating good business etiquette is merely a means of presenting yourself as best you can. Failure to adhere to foreign business etiquette does not always have disastrous consequences.
When travelling abroad for business it is advisable to have one side of your business card translated into the appropriate language.
Business cards are generally exchanged at the beginning of or at the end of an initial meeting.
Good business etiquette requires you present the card so the recipient’s language is face up.
Make a point of studying any business card, commenting on it and clarifying information before putting it away.
Business Card Etiquette in China
Have one side of your business card translated into Chinese using simplified Chinese characters that are printed in gold ink since gold is an auspicious colour.
Ensure the translation is carried out into the appropriate Chinese dialect, i.e. Cantonese or Mandarin.
Your business card should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your country, that fact should be highlighted on your card.
Hold the card in both hands when offering it.
Never write on someone’s card unless so directed.
Business Card Etiquette in India
If you have a university degree or any honour, put it on your business card.
Always use the right hand to give and receive business cards.
Business cards need not be translated into Hindi as English is widely spoken within the business community.
Business Card Etiquette in Japan
Business cards are exchanged with great ceremony.
Invest in quality cards.
Always keep your business cards in pristine condition.
Treat the business card you receive as you would the person.
Make sure your business card includes your title. The Japanese place emphasis on status and hierarchy.
Business cards are always received with two hands but can be given with only one.
During a meeting, place the business cards on the table in front of you in the order people are seated.
When the meeting is over, put the business cards in a business card case or a portfolio.
Business Card Etiquette in the UK
Business card etiquette is relaxed in the UK and involves little ceremony.
It is not considered bad etiquette to keep cards in a pocket.
Business cards should be kept clean and presentable.
Do not feel obliged to hand out a business card to everyone you meet as it is not expected.

Getting To Know Your Business Credit Card

Getting To Know Your Business Credit Card

Business owners are becoming increasingly dependent on business credit cards, albeit not quite to the extent that individual consumers rely on their personal credit cards. This dependence on business credit cards is mainly due to its usefulness in transacting and because it provides instant credit when needed. Realizing the huge potential of the small business market, more and more credit card issuers have come up with business credit card packages specifically designed to meet the needs of business owners.

If the credit card companies are correct in their predictions, business credit cards will become an essential tool for conducting business going into the future. Business owners may as well familiarize themselves with the basic benefits of business credit cards, to assist them in choosing a package best suited to their needs.

Cash flow when cash is low
Business credit cards offer a financial life line when an urgent expense needs to be incurred and the cash flow is temporarily impaired. It is also not uncommon for entrepreneurs to employ business credit cards in helping them get a business off the ground. Naturally a solid and sufficiently convincing business plan will be required with which to persuade a business credit card company to issue a business credit card for this purpose.

Earn as you spend
Business credit cards with various reward options are very popular. Many business owners appreciate the savings that these business credit cards offer in terms of airline tickets, hotel stays, car rentals, gasoline purchases, office supplies, printing, courier services, and more. There are variations to these reward options, but one can compare the different business credit card features and apply for the business credit card that best suits the business’ needs.

Credit when you need it
Companies that issue business credit cards know that businesses need more funding than individual consumers do. For this reason, higher spending limits exist on business credit cards when compared to those of personal credit cards. It is reassuring to know that the business has the ability to cover an expense – even if it is unexpected and substantial. Some business credit card issuers even allow business owners to cover overdrafts on their checking accounts by means of a cash advance drawn against the available credit on their business credit cards.

Access to business resources
If you’ve ever visited the web sites of business credit cards issuers, especially those belonging to the big banks, you will have noticed that they offer expert assistance to small businesses. This includes information on market research methods, business plan preparation, cash flow management and so forth. These valuable resources are available to holders of their business credit cards free of charge.

Both the application and the approval processes for business credit cards are quick and easy. It is time and effort well spent by any business owner. A business credit card has become an indispensable financial instrument, in every way. In addition to the direct benefits on offer, issuers of business credit cards also provide business owners with detailed, itemized statements at regular intervals. This is a great help in as far as bookkeeping is concerned. Provided that the business credit card, like any other financial instrument, is dealt with in a circumspect manner, it will enhance the potential of any business to succeed.