Archive for 'Business'

Small Business Owners-Look Here Before You Leap

Dr. Michael D. Ames, Professor of Management at California State University Fullerton and founder of University’s Small Business Institute, wrote a textbook twenty years ago that outlines some of the struggles that small business owners face when launching and managing their company. This textbook, “Small Business Management,” has been so influential that the Small Business Administration (SBA) cites it on their website.

The original list found on the SBA’s website consisted of 10 major reasons for small business failure, some of which include lack of experience, over-investment and poor inventory management.

While Dr. Ames says that list and his textbook still offer small business owners very valuable information, he “would overlay it with another list of 20 years or more of experience.”

In an exclusive interview with loans.org, Dr. Ames expanded on each of the 10 SBA-cited reasons for small business failure, providing further insight into what exactly it takes to be a “success” in today’s ever-changing economic climate.

One highlight of the interview points to Dr. Ames’ discussion of insufficient capital.

Dr. Ames said that many businesses spend huge amounts of money before they ever understand what their targeted demographic actually wants.

He said business owners end up “building what they want versus what the customer needs.” Then, when all is said and done (and often when it’s too late), the previously-hopeful entrepreneur looks back to see they’ve gone too far, fallen into too much debt and are at a point where they can’t recoup.

For Dr. Ames’ input on the remaining top 10 reasons why small businesses fail, please visit the full article at http://loans.org/business/articles/top-ten-reasons-small-company-fail.

For more articles, news, and frequently asked questions on entrepreneurship and commercial financing, please visit http://loans.org/business, a page dedicated to business-related information.

CONTACT: Alex Gomory, 909-784-2476, alex@loans.org

 

Small Business Best Bets for 2013 and Beyond

Entrepreneur Magazine - September 2010 Cover

Small Business(Photo credit: Rob La Fave)

For those with fingers on the pulse of the business world, Entrepreneur magazine reveals the biggest trends of 2013 and the directions they’ll take various industries in the future. These movements reflect the wants and needs of a changing demographic in the United States and what’s necessary for entrepreneurs to keep in mind when considering consumers, employees and how business is getting done around them.

“Whether you’re running an established company or hope to start in the new year, it’s crucial to stay in-the-know with what’s happening in business right now to stay competitive—and more importantly, what to expect next,” says Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “Being savvy about modern expectations and consumer tendencies can make or break a business, and we’ve got a great look at what 2013 has in store.”

The list looks at the booming trends that will help anchor a business moving forward and thinking ahead:

  1. Big Data – Numbers-based insights
  2. Domestic Production – The comeback of “Made in the USA”
  3. Reimagined Workspace – The office of the future
  4. Fun Company Culture – Adding playfulness to the workplace
  5. Personal-Care Products – Desire for skin enhancement
  6. Spicy Flavor – Turning to food with a bite
  7. Fake Energy – Products giving a boost
  8. Transparency – Building brand trust and loyalty
  9. Creative Financing – Alternative financing methods
  10. Vending Machines – Access to unique products instantly
  11. Digital Doctors – Technology on call

A common thread among the 11 trends to watch in 2013 is that they aren’t fads with short-lived popularity. Instead, they may be seen as business movements built to last even beyond next year. Each trend reveals a synthesis of factors leading to their tipping points, such as changing demographics, widespread availability of certain technologies, shifting workplace and productivity ideologies, and consumer desires.

For example, increased exposure to international cuisines, combined with the growing desire to innovate in the kitchen, have contributed to a population eager to consume—and create—spicy condiments. The popularity of food with a kick has spiked the small hot sauce segment into a billion-dollar industry, signaling the impact that an appreciation for diversity can have in business. Another trend stems from economic influencers and is good news for capital-seekers. While entrepreneurship has become a near-mainstream movement, lending is still tight with banks, leading to demand for financing. So borrowers and lenders are getting creative, and alternative financing methods such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending sites and collateral-free loans are becoming more of the norm.

To read the complete feature on the top entrepreneurial trends, pick up a copy of the December issue on sale at newsstands now.

About Entrepreneur Media Inc.
Entrepreneur Media Inc. is the premier content provider for and about entrepreneurs. Our products engage and inspire every day with the advice, solutions and resources that fuel the bold and independent way entrepreneurs think.

After 35 years, nobody reaches more growing businesses. As the original magazine for the small and midsize business community, Entrepreneur continues to be the definitive guide to all the diverse challenges of business ownership. Entrepreneur.com is the most widely used website by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses worldwide. Entrepreneur Press publishes the books that turn entrepreneurial skills into business success.

To learn more, visit entrepreneur.com.
To advertise, please contact us at entrepreneur.com/mediakit.
Follow us on Twitter at @EntMagazine, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/entmagazine.

CONTACT: Lisa Murray, Entrepreneur Media Inc., lmurray@entrepreneur.com, +1-949-622-5220

Web Site: http://www.entrepreneur.com

Payday Loans Go Hi Tech With Online Service

A shop window advertising payday loans.

Payday Loans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PaydayLoansOnline.net launches a brand new “100% online” service, available for free on the website. As a response to growing demand in the personal finance sphere for instant payday loan access, the organization has created a way for US, UK and Canadian residents to apply for short term loans on the internet, without visiting an office or sending a fax.

The new 100% online service allows effective pinpointing of suitable lenders in the applicants’ home vicinity. Money can be borrowed from local lenders for a few weeks at a time and is paid directly into a bank account, and repaid via the same easy way on the borrower’s next pay day.

The PaydayLoansOnline system is powered by a short and direct application form that fields customer details straight to the most appropriate lenders. Bad credit is no obstacle as the service is equally available to individuals with poor, good or no credit.

A spokesperson for PaydayLoansOnline.net made the announcement.

“PaydayLoansOnline.net is pleased to launch its new 100% online service for finding fast cash loans. With the holidays approaching, many people need to pull in extra shifts at work to cover their outgoings and still can’t make the month despite their best efforts. Missing precious hours of work to visit storefront payday lenders means lost earnings and oftentimes, wasted journeys where they are not approved.”

The spokesperson continued, “The beauty of our online payday loans finding service is that we are partnered with lenders who operate 24 hours a day online, making it a very convenient option that can be used from all computers. In addition to this, the lenders are all specialists in the bad credit sector, making them more likely to approve loans regardless of an individual’s perceived financial difficulty.”

The service is comprised of some notable components. Namely, that the credit scores of applicants are never revealed throughout the application and matching process, as neither PaydayLoansOnline nor its network of affiliated lenders use or report to credit reference agencies.

The online application form takes less than 2 minutes to complete and is confidential. It is possible for an applicant to receive instant approval online or continue searching without commitment until finding the best loan that suits them.

To apply, click on:  http://www.paydayloansonline.net

Contact:
Sam Malka
admin@paydayloansonline.net
7863199951

Web Site: http://www.paydayloansonline.net

City Index Group

FX Solutions LLC, a leading retail foreign exchange (forex) dealer and part of the City Index group of companies, today announced the launch of capped variable pricing for its U.S. customers.*

The new pricing is available on the MetaTrader4 (MT4) and GTS trading platforms across 28 forex pairs.  Customers can trade on spreads as low as 0.8 pips on EUR/USD and 1 pip on GBP/USD, USD/JPY and AUD/USD.

The pricing aims to move in sync with the underlying market, potentially providing tighter spreads as liquidity improves.  A ‘cap’ or ‘limit’ is placed on the spread with the intent of restricting it from widening more than the listed cap level.

In the opinion of FX Solutions, the ‘cap’ provides advantages over other variable spread providers, whose spreads, without a ‘cap’, can widen excessively around economic events.  Using Capped Variable Pricing, FX Solutions customers can trade more efficiently with potentially lower spreads.

Capped Variable Pricing is the latest addition to FX Solutions’ U.S. offering and follows the expansion of its market analysis and forex education capabilities with the recent appointment of Chief Technical Strategist, James Chen.

To find out more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

About FX Solutions

FX Solutions is a leading foreign exchange broker with a focus on advanced trading technologies, transparency of trading and customer service. To learn more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

Forex trading involves a substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for all investors.  FX Solutions is compensated through a portion of the bid/ask spread.

* While we strive to offer capped pricing (spreads) at all times, there may be occasions where a significant market or world event may force us to widen spreads beyond the caps without prior notice. The last time spreads were widened beyond set levels was February 2009. NZD/USD widened from 5 to 7 pips. Spreads vary based on market conditions, including volatility, liquidity and other factors. The minimum spreads referenced herein are intended to occur periodically in normal market conditions on select currency pairs. The spreads you experience throughout a day will differ.

CONTACT: Michelle Welk, +1-609-750-9114, mwelk@sspr.com

Web Site: http://www.fxsolutions.com

Foreclosure Numbers Dropping

Foreclosure

The banks are reporting lower foreclosure numbers for the last quarter of 2011. Some of that can be attributed to the robo-signing fiasco and some to the new programs that the banks have put in place to help the home owner keep their home. The banks have become a little more flexible in dealing with these delinquent mortgages mainly because the tactics they were using before simply wasn’t working. You can read more about it here:

 

 

New Business Owners Top 10 Regrets-Video

New Business Owners

 

A lot of new business owners, and I mean brand spanking new never been in business before new, make a lot of mistakes when first starting that new business. They’ll look back sometime down the road and realize that things could have been a lot easier for them in the beginning if they only had a little more insight. The video below will help you get through some of the rough parts with a few less bumps and bruises.

Sound Business Plan is Crucial to Success-Video

Business Plan

 

All the experts will all tell you that a sound business plan is an absolute must if you’re going to make it in the business world. Forget about the info-commercials and ads that show you the mansions, expensive cars and suitcases full of money. All of that is just a sales pitch to get you to buy into a program that promises that you’ll be filthy stinking rich almost overnight with very little work.  Unfortunately the real world just doesn’t work that way. As they say, if it was that easy then everybody would be doing it and it wouldn’t have any value. To get on the right track to a real and successful business, watch the video below.

 

 

 

Most small business owners have the same goal and that is to increase revenues with new business. In an average or stable economy there are already enough road blocks to make that a difficult undertaking. With today’s economy it’s even worse. But now there is a different way to increase your business and quite possibly increase it a lot. You’ll have to jump through some hoops but it may be worth it

IBM and several other large corporations have launched a directory where small businesses can get listed to do business with large corporations.

Called the Supplier Connection, the site is open to U.S. small businesses.

If you are wondering what “small” means, it means your business has to have less than $50 Million in revenues or fewer than 500 employees.  You have to provide products or services in chemicals, construction, consulting, financial services, auto parts, HR services, information technology, marketing communications, market research, printing, software or security (for the full list, see the Supplier Connection website).

Some of the large corporations that are involved along with IBM include JP Morgan Chase, Kellogg’s,  Pfizer, Caterpillar, Citi,  JohnDeere, AMD and Facebook.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has also gotten behind it.

But Is It Realistic for Small Businesses?

When I first heard about this from Laurie McCabe’s site, I thought it was a great idea. I was excited and decided to try it out.

What I discovered is that the paperwork and requirements are daunting.

First, let’s talk about the paperwork.  Bureaucracy is a huge barrier to growth for small businesses — even the perception of heavy bureaucracy is a barrier.  According to the Wall Street Journal, one business owner reported that completing a Supplier Profile is “not a one-hour routine” but takes commitment.

Most small businesses don’t have anything near the 500-employee limit for this program — instead, think 5 employees.  That is a much more common size for a small business.  In a 5-employee small business, there’s rarely anyone you can assign who will have all the knowledge to complete the paperwork.  The business owner will likely be handling the paperwork himself or herself, probably in the evening (since that’s the only time available).

Beyond the paperwork is the whole issue of whether you can meet the system’s mandatory requirements.  I started filling out the application and managed to get through the first four steps out of 9, in 20 minutes.  ”Hmm, that’s not so bad,” I thought.

Then I got to step 5, the Environment section. It stopped me cold.  For instance, how many of you could say “yes” to the following?

  • Does your company have a Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Management System, which measures performance, sets goals, and discloses results?
  • Does your company define, deploy, and sustain your corporate responsibility and environmental management system through your engagement with your suppliers?
  • Does your company cascade this set of requirements to your suppliers who perform work that is material to the products, parts and/or services being supplied to your customer?

In all, there were over 20 questions about environmental, ISO9001 and ISO14001 compliance, 16 of them required fields to answer.

Very few small businesses with under say, 20 employees, could say yes to the above questions.  And what if you answer “no”?  Well, you are required to specify the exact day, month and year when you plan to be in compliance.  In our business we  have no plans to create environmental policies and systems.  Being an Internet publisher we shut off lights when we don’t need them, recycle paper and soda cans, avoid printing emails and documents unless absolutely necessary, and use power management options on our computers and other equipment.  But we do not write corporate policies about those actions — we just do them.

Our suppliers (other small businesses and entrepreneurs) would laugh — or cry — if we asked them if they complied.   There’s no way that even if we wrote policies and systems, that we  could “cascade” that requirement to our suppliers.

So that was the end of my attempt to complete the application.  I gave up.

Some Bright Spots

On the other hand, I do see positives with this program:

The whole process can be difficult to accomplish and may not be for every business out there, but if you can make it work, think of the possibilities.

It’s a story that’s not new because we’ve all heard it so many times before over the years. Only the names have changed. New guy takes over the top spot in the company. Results are nothing to write home about or brag about at the golf course, but top guy still gets super achiever raises. Any manager below him would have been fired  a long time ago, or money taken out of his check for poor performance. Where’s the justice?

Let’s hear it for the corporate boss who gets a 20% raise — or maybe 88%, depending how you count — when his company lost shareholders 6.4% for the year, saw returns trail the S&P 500 by 8.5 percentage points, and has seen returns trail its industry by 12 points over the last three years.

This man of steel — whose compensation can withstand the slings and arrows of muddled performance — is none other than the chairman and chief executive of steelmaker Nucor (NUE), Daniel R. DiMicco. According to the proxy filed this morning, DiMicco’s total compensation rose to $8.1 million for 2011, from $6.8 million in 2010. The biggest chunk of that change came from his cash bonus, which rose to $1.5 million from $540,000.

That’s using the standard compensation calculation required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But like many companies chafing at the comp-disclosure bit, Nucor offers an “alternative” calculus —  and one that is even more eye-opening: By Nucor’s measure, DiMicco’s 2011 pay rose a whopping 88% over the prior year, to $5.3 million from $2.8 million. (The chief difference between the two measures is that the “alternative” attempts to exclude “compensation that may possibly be earned but is not guaranteed” by ignoring options and reducing the stock-award value by some voodoo the company doesn’t explain very clearly.)

 Shareholders, meantime, would have done better to invest in just about any major stock index during 2011 (the period covered by the proxy). The one place shareholders would have done worse, on a total-return basis, is the rest of the steel industry, and we do have to give Nucor some credit here. Nucor outstripped the steel industry by 28 points in 2011, after trailing it by 9 points in 2010 and by 107 points in 2009. DiMicco has run the company since 2000, and has been chairman since 2006; looking over the past three, five and 10 years, the company’s total return has trailed the steel industry’s by between 5 and 12 percentage points, and the S&P 500 by even more.
The shareholders of  this company would have been a lot better off by spreading the risk into other investments. Get #1 Strong Buy Picks from Zacks

One of the hardest things to accomplish with today’s economy is for the small business owner to get financing for business expansion. Staying in business is tough enough but financing a new startup or securing funds to grow your business is difficult at best.  Here’s a video about a company that specializes in finding those needed funds in a very unique way, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re located in  Africa or America.

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