4 Alternative Financing Options for Small Businesses

Traditional financing is hard to come by when you run a small business. Banks often require an excellent credit history and at least two years in business. According to a report from Biz2Credit, less than 25% of small business loan requests were approved by big banks in March 2016.

Alternative forms of financing can help small businesses obtain the funds they need to grow and thrive. Here are four alternative financing options for small businesses.

1. P2P Loans

Peer-to-peer lending allows businesses to borrow money from their peers rather than a single lender. A banking platform may approve the loan to go live for bidding, but the funds will come from ordinary people who want to make an investment in your business.

To start the process, businesses must fill out an application. The platform then assesses the business’ credit risk and applies an interest rate to the profile. Investors can then view the profile of the borrower and determine whether they want to invest. Businesses with good credit generally have better luck with P2P loans.

P2P lending rules vary from state to state. The practice is legal in all U.S. states aside from Ohio.

2. Crowdfunding

Similar to P2P lending, crowdfunding allows businesses to raise money from their peers. There are four types of crowdfunding: rewards, debt, charity and equity. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo generally use rewards crowdfunding, while GoFundMe is more focused on charity.

With rewards crowdfunding, the business doesn’t have to pay the money back. Backers are sent something in return for their donation. With equity crowdfunding, those who invest in the business receive a share of the business or product.

Crowdfunding is often used by startups looking to launch a new product or service, small businesses looking to expand and creative professionals looking for funding for a project.

There may be fees associated with the crowdfunding platform.

3. Lines of Credit

A business line of credit can be obtained from a bank or an online lender. Unlike a conventional loan, a line of credit gives you access to a sum of money that you can draw from at any time. Businesses are only charged interest on the amount of money that is withdrawn.

Lines of credit work similarly to a credit card.

If your business is in need of working capital or extra funding to cover expenses during a slow season, a line of credit may be a good option.

4. Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring is different from other forms of lending. Invoice factoring companies purchase your business’ unpaid invoices at a discount and you receive the majority of the money upfront. The client pays the invoice, and the factoring company sends you a second installment (less the factoring fee).

The factoring fee is a percentage of the total amount of invoices that are being factored. Typically, the factoring fee for 30 days ranges from 1.5% to 4.5%.

Invoice factoring is appropriate for businesses that have unpaid invoices. Bad credit isn’t normally an issue with this form of lending, as the factoring company is more concerned with the client’s ability to pay – not yours.

 

 

 

 

Search Engine Optimization

Parxavenue Top Calgary Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO and SEM

What’s the point of building a website if it’s going to rank on Google’s last page?

Building a website in 2018 is a lot different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Back in the day; companies could create a website and use all kinds of flashy and spammy methods to rank their site in search engines, and it was quite easy to do. Search engines’ algorithms have become a lot smarter in the past decade and can now detect these old-school methods in a matter of seconds. Can you imagine a time when you can rank on Google’s first page 24 hours after building a website stuffed with 20 exact match keywords? Ranking your site used to be, that easy!

Many penalties have been given out lately as algorithms get smarter with the growth of technology. If your website has been penalized in any way whatsoever, many experts in the SEO industry will tell you that it might be easier to purchase a new domain and start fresh. Recovering from a penalty is time-consuming. Building back the trust you once had, won’t be easy – possible, yes, but not easy.

Parxavenue Ltd. an excellent SEO company based in Calgary, Alberta; has experimented with multiple domains, using all major search engines to see how hard they can “push.” The answers didn’t come right away, but after a few short months, they did find out how easy it is to receive a penalty and even have your website de-indexed!

Search Engine Optimization
Calgary SEO – Calgary SEM – Parxavenue Top Search Engine Optimization

If your SEO staff, team, or agency is using “Old-School” methods today in 2018, be aware that these techniques will catch up to you faster than you might be thinking. The best-ranking websites from any niche market have a very natural flow to them, using exact match keywords only when completely necessary. When working with the best SEO tools on the market today, it is quite clear that you have to follow Google’s best practices and again, that’s how simple it is. “Don’t be Evil” For helpful information regarding the best ways to go about working on your own website’s SEO, please click here.

5 Reasons Why Trucking Company Owners Choose Freight Factoring

With a number of regulations easing in the trucking industry, owners of freight and transportation companies are more concerned than ever with keeping positive cash flow and staying in the black in order to capitalize on growth opportunities. On top of overhead costs including wages, benefits, as well as fleet maintenance and fuel needs, trucking owners need sound funding options to facilitate expansion and growth initiatives. If you’re wondering why so many freight and transportation company owners are turning to factoring for their cash flow needs, here are some of the main reasons this type of financing is so popular.

  1. Factoring eliminates waiting periods

One of the most challenging hurdles of running a trucking company is waiting to collect on invoices for deliveries you’ve already made. Sometimes clients will wait to pay for 30, 60, or even 90 days, but you have bills to pay now. Factoring your freight invoices with a factoring company such as Accutrac Capital allows you to effectively sell your invoices at a discount and receive the money you need right away — often in the same day you factor the invoice.

  1. Factoring helps improve cash flow

If funds are low, or you simply don’t have the cash on hand necessary to seize a growth opportunity, you’ll be happy to know that factoring allows you to streamline your cash flow. An unpaid invoice is no good to anybody, but factoring allows you to turn that unpaid invoice into cash on hand for a small one-time factoring fee.

Moving freight is the lifeblood of your company and the more you move, the more money you can earn. With cash on hand from transportation factoring, you can seize opportunities to expand your existing fleet or upgrade one or more of your trucks.

  1. Factoring lets you avoid collections

Another major advantage of freight factoring is that you no longer have to worry about collections. The factoring company you partner with will handle collections on your behalf, giving you the peace of mind — and the necessary free time — to focus on the more important aspects of your company like driver training and fleet safety.

  1. Factoring is not a loan

Because factoring is not aloan, there is no interest accruing on the amount that you are funded. You are not borrowing money, but rather you are selling your invoices at a discount. When you sell an invoice to the factoring company, they will often give you a significant percentage of the value upfront (Accutrac offers 97% of the value of the invoice minus a nominal factoring fee). Once the factoring company collects the invoice on your behalf they return the other 3% that was held in reserve. It’s that simple.

  1. No hidden fees

When you deal with a reliable factoring company, you know that they will not charge you any hidden fees or additional costs. And when you deal with a factoring company that deals exclusively with trucking company owners, they understand the business and can offer a transparent set of factoring plans tailored to the needs of your business.

5 Things To Look For In a Retail Space

Opening up your first business is something which takes a lot of steps.  In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming if you take it all on at once.  However, it’s important to see each step individually so that you can check it off as you go.

One of the most important steps to get your business off the ground is to get a storefront to be able to receive your customers and present your merchandise.  Since there are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect storefront which represents you and your brand, it’s essential to prioritize the most critical first.  Here are some of the most crucial elements to look for when choosing your retail space.

Quality Construction

Make sure that you look at spaces which are constructed with quality materials and will hold up the test of time.  Trying to build up your store on flimsy materials which won’t hold up will only lead to frustration.

Look for spaces which are sturdy and well made.  Since you may want to make some construction changes, you want to know that the foundation stands strong.

Location

As they say, “Location, Location, Location!”  Placing your retail store in the middle of nowhere is going to be a flop despite how great what you’re selling is.  

Make sure that you open your store in a place that has plenty of foot traffic and visibility.  Having a quality product in a thriving location is the key to making your biggest business dreams come true.

Neighboring Stores

Look for a rental space that has nearby stores which won’t be an issue for your business.  Ensure that you’re not placed next to locations which may negatively impact your sales.

You also want to make sure that you surround yourself with stores who share your same work style.  The last thing you want is to be quarreling with your neighbors. Therefore choosing to be near like-minded businesses is a plus in the long run.

Parking Spots

There’s nothing that customers hate more than to get to your store and find that there aren’t any parking spots.  A lot of businesses make the mistake of forgetting this crucial factor when looking for a retail space.

Make sure that if you don’t have parking spots to be able to provide yourself that you’re near public parking spots.  However, it’s ideal to be able to offer your customers free parking, particularly in the city.

Affordable Price

Even if you fall in love with a space that you’re sure will make all your dreams come true, don’t break the bank trying to make it happen.  It’s not worth sending yourself into bankruptcy.

Choose something that fits your budget but also provides what you need for your business.

6 Methods for a More Secure Payroll Processing

While businesses use electronic payments such as direct deposit and credit card transactions more often, check fraud is still a problem in Canada. Recently an employee helped friends steal $5,483,249 from a construction company. The employer sued the bank, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the bank liable for the lost funds. 

The employer had to go through the expense of filing a lawsuit, plus take the time to present a legal case, all while being out over five million dollars. Does your staff use checks for payroll and vendor payments? Secure voucher checks help protect your business from fraud. Here are some modern security features your check paper should include for more secure payroll processing.

Toner Adhesion Chemicals

If you print a lot of checks, you may send the voucher check paper through a laser printer. Fraudsters can scrape off the toner to change information such as the payee. Advanced secure check paper is treated with a chemical to help the toner adhere to the paper and stop forgery. Heat activates the compound when the check runs through the printer, making the toner adhere better to the paper.

Specialty Ink

Criminals who commit check fraud use check washing to change the words on live documents too. Specialty ink prevents check washing. The ink disappears or turns a bright color if someone tries to remove the text with bleach or other compounds. The document is effectively destroyed during the washing process.

Fluorescent Fibers and Holographic Seals

The bank is your second line of defense when a person tries to pass a fake document. Modern secure payroll check features also help bank staff know if a payment is authentic. Some paper includes fluorescent fibers to prevent fraud. The paper has threads randomly woven into the material that reacts to ultraviolet light.

Additionally, the latest secure paper often has a holographic seal or watermark that criminals can’t easily duplicate on a laser printer. These may by shiny and have a dual image when held in a certain light.

Heat Sensitive Image

Another tactic that prevents people from copying real checks is the use of heat sensitive images. A bank teller can put a finger on the image to confirm if the payment is valid. The heat from the teller’s finger makes the picture disappear.

Microprinting

It’s hard to copy security features that you can’t see. Suppliers use microprinting to defeat fraudsters too. Microprinting is printed text that the naked eye can’t read. Criminals will find it difficult to make fake duplicates from checks that include this security measure.

Warning Box

It’s easier for bank staff to confirm the authenticity of a check when the teller knows about security features. Tellers can read the information listed in the warning box printed on the back of the document to understand how to determine if a check is fake.

Find a check supplier that uses a combination of these security features. You can protect yourself from losing money and wasting time combating fraud.

The Link Between Public Sector Reforms and a Thriving Private Sector

Creating and sustaining a public sector that is transparent, inclusive and accountable is the ultimate goal of government reform initiatives, both in developing nations and world powers. One area where this is particularly important, but where a fine line must be walked, is with the private sector.

There’s a push/pull force at work on this front.

Regulatory reform that touches the business sector must, on the one hand, be responsive and do the job of facilitating the interests and needs of the business community. Too much regulation – or regulations that are too onerous – will effectively make it harder to do business. That may stifle business spending, investment, employment and economic growth in total.

But those interests must be balanced against the public good. Regulations that may serve the financial interests of a particular sector but compromise the quality of life of a nation’s people – think air and water pollution, for example – will not measure up to world standards.

That balancing act has made business-oriented policies and regulations an ongoing focus of reform projects, and not just in developing countries. There are lessons to be learned on this front that are critical to any forward-thinking government. The World Bank has funded various such initiatives through the years. Three of the case studies it outlines in its Doing Business 2018 and 2017 reports provide helpful food for thought.

Information transparency at business registries

New regulations on the transparency of business information reflect growing concerns over how some take advantage of obscure company ownership structures to move money illicitly around the world. Allowing disclosure of beneficial business ownership (those who receive equity benefits even if they’re not legal owners), for example, makes it easier to identify suspected money launderers and potential sources of terrorist financing. Furthermore, greater transparency strengthens public confidence in businesses and institutions, helps to better manage financial exposure and makes for more stable markets, the report found.

Facilitating access to business credit

Modern secured transaction laws are being increasingly adopted by developing countries. It’s one way to help make the business environment more secure for smaller companies. Collateral-related reforms are key to the process. Expanding the scope of what small and mid-sized businesses can use as collateral also expands their access to finance. One reform approach is to establish a collateral registry for all sorts of movable assets – digitally-based, accessible to the public and searchable. Ghana opened the first such registry in Africa, where $1.3 billion was issued in financing for small businesses and $12 billion for businesses overall.

Reforming insolvency laws

When a viable business is in financial stress, if procedures for restructuring and reorganization aren’t efficient, the price can be steep – loss of the business itself, its contribution to the economy (like employment and taxes) and losses that creditors can’t recoup. A strengthened framework for insolvency policies, studies have shown, can result in reduced cost and level of credit and lower interest rates on large loans. One example is France, whose 2005 insolvency reforms featured a new restructuring tool – a “safeguard procedure.” This allowed struggling firms to apply for court protection while they negotiated a restructuring plan with creditors. This was refined in 2008 and again in 2011, eventually resulting in business survival in three out of four cases initiated.

All about the Sovereign of the Seas and the Sovereign Ship Model

Modelled on the “Sovereign of the Seas,” the sovereign ship model is truly a collector’s delight! Possessing a piece is a matter of extreme pride, whether you are a first-time collectors or an avid collector. A true representation of artistry, elegance and craftsmanship, the sovereign models are crafted to recreate history in its splendour. The best models are made from the highest quality materials, built to perfection to exactly the same standards as those in historical museum displays.

Sovereign of the Seas and the Sovereign Ship Model

The largest ship ever built, The Sovereign of the Seas (1638) inspires the Sovereign ship model. The original ship was constructed in the Royal Dockyard, Chatham, by Phineas Pett, on the orders of King Charles I. Several thousands of craftsmen were said to have laboured on the ship for over three years to build it. A masterpiece of its period, the ship stood at a height of 75 ft, with a keel length 127 ft and overall length of 215 ft. It measured 48 feet in the beam, 168 feet along the gun deck and with 1141 burden tonnage.

The ship had taken part in several wars, including the second and third Dutch Wars from 1652 to 1692 and the battles of Beachy Head in 1690 and Barfleur in 1692 (when the Royal Navy fought with the Dutch). Rebuilt in 1660 and 1692, the ship met an abrupt end in 1696 when it was burnt accidentally at Chatham.

Here are some interesting facts about a typical sovereign ship model:

  • Available as full hull models with 100 guns and three full gun decks, they are crafted to the best specifications.
  • Time- and effort-intensive works of art, the intricate ship model is handmade to the finest quality and excellent craftsmanship.
  • It has hand carved decorations with embroidered flags, accurate deck details, fitting and handmade sails.
  • Built to 1:48 scale, these are mounted on the original baseboards and have three stump masts.
  • Like the original ship, the best models are richly decorated and done in boxwood to extremely high standards. Hull, deck, carvings, and mast varnished to perfect, striking finish
  • It features exact replicas of flags from King Charles I’s reign
  • Sails are also made of hand sewn weathered lines.
  • Wooden pieces of figurines, figureheads and decorations are meticulously hand carve, and built to the finest detail
  • Culverins and cannons are made of brass with each one turned using a lathe.
  • Rigging is hand laid, with several rigging thicknesses used for natural representation of the original ship rigging. It uses special wax treated rigging for presentation and durability.
  • Uses wooden plank on frame; several thin planks are mounted on an inner series of frames, over which a second layer of fine planks are used.

The price of a sovereign ship model varies, depending on its size, detailing and craftsmanship. Its sizes may range from very large models available at about 3 meters in length (made on custom order) to small ones 65 cm in length (best used as centrepiece displays).

Order your Sovereign ship model from one of the most renowned online suppliers of wooden model ships – Premier Ship Models. Here you will get the best prices for the highest quality models.

A Look into Racial Discrimination in the US

According to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, an overwhelming 87% of black Americans say black people face a lot of discrimination in the United States, but only 49% of white Americans agree with this. This statistic clearly indicates that America is not only divided according to race, but it is divided by opinions on race discrimination as well, according to an article published by CNN in August 2017.

No matter what the opinion on race discrimination might be, the reality is that this evil does still exist, quite evident from the large number of claims against employers for harassment and hostile work environments, based on the employee’s ethnicity.

However, according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Labor Code, employees and applicants of all races, including African American, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterner and more, are protected from employment discrimination based their race. Moreover, Title VII and the Texas Labor Code protect employees and applicants of all national origins from employment discrimination based their national origin, explain national origin & color discrimination lawyer at The Law Office of Texas Discrimination Attorney, a leading firm of race discrimination attorneys in Austin and Houston, Texas (TX).

What is Racial Discrimination?

A person is said to be racially discriminated against when s/he is treated unequally or less favorably than another person in a similar situation because of their color, race, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. Such discrimination can be direct or indirect. What’s worse is that sometimes, indirect race discrimination can be permitted if the employer or organization is able to present a good reason for the discrimination. 

Causes of Racism in America

In the US, systemic discrimination continues to thrive. In this world’s biggest economy, there is a strong association between poverty and race, where people belonging to some races face a disadvantage at the workplace, which keeps them less privileged in society.

People belonging to minority groups are not easily considered for certain jobs, while others can become victims of workplace discrimination, facing racist comments from employers and co-workers, and being constantly being passed up for promotions due to race.

Leading psychologists have explained that racism persists when we think of ourselves as being different from other people. In general, racists think of themselves as being superior to others, who are seen as being lower in status or capability than them. Such a mindset develops from childhood and has a lot to do with upbringing.

Racial discrimination can be easily avoided at the workplace, if the employer wishes it. They can create an ethnically and racially diverse environment, while educating their employees about the importance of thinking beyond race, color and national origin to succeed in their job and in life.

If your workplace is encouraging racial discrimination, it is advisable to seek help from a national origin & color discrimination lawyer or employment law attorney, such as those in Austin and Houston, Texas (TX).

The Connected Supply Chain: Get Positioned Now to Play

Game changing.

That’s the impact the Internet of Things (IoT) technology may have on Supply Chain Management generally, and inventory management and demand forecasting specifically. And it’s happening now.

Through 2025, according to projections by DHL and Cisco Consulting Services, the IoT can be expected to generate some $1.9 trillion in value driven by supply chain and logistics applications. By 2020, the firms also estimate that the number of devices connected to the Internet will explode to 50 billion from 2015’s 15 billion.

Supply Chain Management at its simplest involves managing the flow of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption and all the stops in between. A supply chain that’s “connected” stands to yield any number of operational efficiencies. But, at the same time, there will be challenges – not the least of which is bringing businesses current with IoT technology, given the number of outdated legacy systems being used alongside new technologies and assets that are both connected and unconnected.

Among the efficiencies a connected supply chain can create:

· Far better tracking of assets and at incredibly granular levels. The IoT poses substantive advantages by expanding the existing application of RFID and GPS sensors that will track products from floor to store or more. In addition, deeper data dives will be possible on things like storage temperature or length of time on retailers’ shelves. All of this improved data will combine to improve quality control, delivery performance and forecasting.

· Having better data on assets can lead to improved production schedules and also give companies a better perspective on vendor performance. That’s important when up to 65 percent of the value of an organization’s products or services stems from its suppliers. Having a better understanding of how they’re handling supplies and product is a bonus.

· IoT monitoring programs for forecasting and inventory planning purposes are a lot more accurate than what humans can do. Still, data collection can be haphazard, not necessarily providing a good baseline for analyzing product performance and predicting failures. MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, though, has developed an algorithm that builds IoT failure data directly into the equation. It not only helps predict future inventory needs, but has been shown to help reduce stock by 6 percent to 10, a considerable bottom-line impact

The drive to create a connected supply chain is not going to be easy, however. And it’s not just the question of investing in the technology and in the skills that people will need to develop to make it work.

The IoT-connected supply chain is going to result in exponentially larger amounts of data. Simply collecting it won’t be enough. It’s knowing what to do with all the disparate data that will be produced, when much of it will be incomplete, insufficient and inaccurate. This data will need to be accounted for and properly managed in order to lead to the sophisticated analytics that provide insights for smarter decisions. Sound analytics processes, along with the right people and technology need to be put in place.

Without question the IoT is changing the supply chain game. But as this game is a work in progress, your best bet is to start positioning yourself now to be a player.