Many businesses face the need for financing at some point during their lifecycle, but the reasons and options for doing so vary greatly from company to company.
Businesses that seek out funding for a large project or a fixed major expense may benefit from a business loan, as it provides a one-time amount with a predictable repayment term. However, some businesses may find the flexibility of a business credit line optimal for their ongoing financing needs.
Before applying for one versus the other, it’s helpful for business owners to understand what a business line of credit is, how to get one, and the options for borrowing via a line of credit.
What is a Business Line of Credit?A business line of credit can be compared to a personal credit line, where a lender offers flexible access to funds on an ongoing basis. A business line of credit has a stated credit line maximum that businesses can borrow against and pay back over time.
As a revolving account, similar to a credit card, there is no set monthly payment for some credit lines. Instead, there’s a minimum payment of principal, interest, or a combination of the two based on the amount borrowed. As payments are made on the outstanding balance, the available credit increases up to the stated maximum.
A business line of credit works best for businesses that are in need of flexible, ongoing access to financing. For example, a business owner may use a business credit line for funding payroll or overhead expenses during a seasonal slump, or for a major expense that comes out of the blue. Unlike a loan that offers a fixed lump sum amount and steady repayment over a set number of months or years, a business line of credit allows business owners to just use the funding they need – and when they need it.
Although the flexibility is helpful, business lines of credit can be more expensive in terms of the interest rate than traditional fixed loans. Business owners with a large credit line may also run into trouble if they borrow too much and only make minimum payments over time.
How to Get a Business Line of CreditCompared to small business loans, a business line of credit is easier to qualify for, and it often does not require collateral like a building or equipment to secure the credit line. However, business owners must still submit an application to a lender that details the business revenue, time in operation, and assets on hand to get approval. The stronger the business and in some cases, personal financial data and credit history, the higher the probability of getting approved for a new business line of credit.
It is important to recognize that business lines of credit have higher interest rates than business loans, which helps offset some of the risk lenders take on in granting approvals to a business with less than perfect financial records or revenue history. That means it might be easier to meet the requirements for a line of credit, but the cost could be far higher than a traditional business loan.
What Are Your Options for a Business Line of Credit?Many lenders, both conventional and online, offer qualified businesses access to lines of credit when they need financing. Companies like Fundbox, StreetShares, and OnDeck all offer short-term lines of credit for businesses, ranging from $1,000 up to $100,000.
Traditional banks and credit unions may also offer long-term business lines of credit for the most qualified applicants, and in some cases, with higher credit lines. Businesses typically need at least six months in operations to qualify for an online credit line lender, and two years for a bank or credit union lender.
When evaluating business line of credit lenders, pay attention to the cost of borrowing combined with the repayment term. Interest rates range from 9 percent to 40 percent, with the latter having a substantial impact on the total cost of borrowing.
Repayment terms may range from three months up to three years, depending on the size of the credit line and the needs of the business. Be sure to ask the lender these specifics before signing on the dotted line. This ensures the credit line won’t be more burdensome in terms of cost and repayment than it is beneficial.
A Business Line of Credit vs. a Business Credit CardAlthough it might sound like a business line of credit and a business credit card are one in the same, there are subtle differences that should be recognized. Lines of credit can be offered as secured, meaning backed by collateral, or unsecured, while business credit cards are almost always unsecured.
Because of this difference, interest rates on business credit cards are typically higher than comparable lines of credit. Also, business lines of credit do not typically offer rewards or incentives like business credit cards might.
Business owners who want lower-cost financing might look to lines of credit first, especially when the need for funds is substantial. Alternatively, business credit cards are better used for business owners who want to maximize their spending each month via rewards programs, or when financing needs are relatively small.
With all the joys that the season has to offer, watching your friends and family’s faces light up when they open up a gift from you has to be one of the greatest.
If only everything leading up to that moment could be as merry.
Let’s be real:
Between coming up with gift ideas, creating a budget, shopping, and hoping it all arrives on time, giving gifts can be stressful.
Luckily, all it takes is a little extra planning to be incredibly organized when tackling your list this holiday season. And coffee. All the coffee.
Give yourself the gift of peace of mind with these seven clever tips courtesy of MakeSpace, the most convenient alternative to self-storage units in Manhattan (and the rest of NYC), Chicago, Los Angeles, and the greater Washington, DC area.
1. Determine who to buy for
Decide how many people you’ll be giving gifts to so you can avoid a never-ending list or accidentally leaving someone out.
Write down any family members, close friends, and colleagues or acquaintances you’d like to buy something for this year.
After you’ve got this list set, stick to it. If someone unexpectedly gives you a gift, a genuine thank you note is cool. You are not required to purchase them something in return.
2. Shop all year
Holiday shopping doesn’t only have to occur during the holiday season. Avoid overspending and overstressing by keeping an eye out for gifts year-round.
See something in April that you think your older brother would like?
Buy it then and keep it in a good hiding spot.
Come December, you will have avoided crowded malls and hectic stores. You’ll have time to add any finishing touches and actually enjoy the season rather than stress about how many shopping days you have left.
3. Track the gifts
https://news.softwarevilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Santas-Bag.png (Software Villa)
Your gift list is not getting away from you this year. Track your budget, gift ideas, what you bought, how much you spent, and if it's wrapped yet.
Organized Living recommends keeping all the information in a spreadsheet. This way, you’ll know how many more gifts you still need to buy and for whom. Plus, you can save the info for next year so that you don’t give duplicate presents.
Of course, there’s an app for that, too. With Santa’s Bag, you can plan gifts for each of your recipients, then set and track a budget for them and the whole season.
4. Consider a group gift exchange
https://www.rd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/10_christmas_tradiotions_steal_gift_exchange_mediaphotos-1024x683.jpg (Reader’s Digest)
Has your gifting list gotten out of control over the years?
Pare it down significantly:
See if your family and friends are interested in a group gift exchange.
Whether you choose names out of a hat, assign recipients, or let people choose who they’d like to purchase a gift for, a group gift exchange is a fun way to switch things up. Plus, with less time spent shopping for multiple people, you’ll get to slow down and appreciate your time with them instead.
5. Simplify the selection
If you’re planning to give small gifts to teachers, the mailman, and your favorite barista, make life easy and give them all the same thing.
Bake a huge batch of cookies. Craft DIY ornaments. Buy small gifts in bulk, and hand them out to all of the people who make your life better. Giving the same gift to them all will show your gratitude without having to buy a different item for each person.
6. Update your holiday card list
It’s hard to keep track of the whereabouts of everyone on your holiday card list.
Your friend from college moved twice in the past three years.
Your boyfriend’s fun uncle travels for a living.
Your sister just began her three-year neurology residency in Chicago.
You’re not sure whose address belongs to who or if any of them are accurate.
This year, when holiday cards arrive, take a minute to update your address book. Keep each envelope long enough to jot down the return address and any other important information.
Once that’s done, recycle the envelopes (you don’t need the excess clutter). And now you’re ready for another year of mailing birthday cards and engagement gifts!
7. Set up a gift wrapping station
A designated gift wrapping station will keep all of your ribbons, tags, boxes, and bags stored and organized until you’re ready to tie bows.
Storage cubbies, like the Like-It Modular Drawers from The Container Store, will keep your decorative accessories in one easy-access spot. One cubby can hold tags, one can hold ribbons, another can hold gift bags, and one more can keep tissue paper neatly folded.
We also recommend hanging gift wrap organizers over a door to maximize space while eliminating clutter on the floor.
Never again will a slightly-too-small piece of wrapping paper go to waste simply because there was no place to store it. Once the perfect little gift comes around and needs to be wrapped, you’ll know where to go.
Fah who foraze, dah who doraze; this year, you won’t be fazed by a long list of loved ones to give gifts to. Get yourself a red coat and eat a few extra cookies with milk: these organization tips will give the man in the red suit a run for his Bitcoin.
Your Logo Is Not Your Brand
Is taking an existing logo, changing the font and swapping colors rebranding? Not by a long shot.
Does it do anything to communicate the essence of your business to prospectives? Did it generate the emotional appeal necessary to move your target audience. Did it articulate why you are unique from your competitors?
The reality is that many small business owners equate their “logo” with their “brand.” This misconception is reinforced by graphic designers who advertise “branding” when in actuality they are designing a logo, letterhead and matching business cards. I’m not dismissing appealing logo work or the role it can play in identifying a company. But let’s be clear: If it doesn’t involve strategy, messaging, emotional appeal AND visual identity—then it’s not branding. Period.. A “brand” is an identifying mark. If you’re lucky (and spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising), a logo may one day come to represent your brand and be instantly identifiable. Think Nike swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches.
But your logo is not your brand. In fact, many companies do just fine without any logo whatsoever.
So what is your brand? Most simply, it’s your promise to your customers. It’s the combination of visual, verbal and emotional attributes that define your company and distinguish it from the competition. And it should be consistent everywhere. Sales pitches. Magazine and newspaper ads. Website. Billboard. Truck signage. Everything!
Good Morning!! Typically I share my VA diary entry every 10 days or so. So if you see this image, just know it's time for some total transparency into the world of a #poshVA! ☆☆☆
I consider myself to be a very productive person. Often times to a fault. My clients get so use to me over-delivering that requests become more frequent and fairly intricate. Thus requiring more woman power-hours and increased retainer hour's translating into more income for me!!
The secret to how I handle this is to only focus on one thing at a time. I must admit that I use to pride myself on being a super multitasker, but through research, experience and the capabilities of my CRMs system and time log, I am almost forced to only manage one product at a time. This may negatively effect my turnaround time, but positively effects the quality of the end product.
Takeaway: According to Forbes, productive people know their Most Important Task (MIT) and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar Inc., shared, “Invest the first part of your day working on your number one priority that will help build your business.”
People who are highly successful do things different than those of us trying to make it there... (Define success for yourself, not by the standards of others.) In a recent article I read in Forbes, productive people find grave importance in the preservation of energy. Energy is Everything.
You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy which will increase your attention, focus, decision making, and overall productivity. Highly successful people don’t skip meals, sleep or breaks in the pursuit of more, more, more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery, and pulse and pause with “work sprints.” So... How are you spending your weekend?
Not born a a natural organizer?! Its okay! Everyone struggles with procrastination and the ability to stay focused in one way or another throughout their life.
But if you are committed to finding your way out from beneath the clutter, and becoming a more productive human being - establishing and practicing your daily routine can and will change your life.
Are you easily distracted by the simplest of things? Like a text from a friend, an email notification or your favorite song on the radio... Eliminate distractions by starting out every day with a realistic sense of purpose, intention and follow through for attaining your goals. Your life, home and office will not change unless you commit to being disciplined to your objectives. Learn to train your mind and eliminate distractions by setting a schedule and writing down your daily to-do's. Schedule your breaks, schedule a time to check and respond to emails, And stick to them. this will keep you on track
What are your goals for your home or life? If they are undefined or unattainable, you will not be effective in reaching them. Plain and simple, to have a beautiful, uncluttered and organized home you have to be more decisive both in what you want to allow in your home and focused on the daily steps that will be required to get where you want to go.
BPO is the abbreviation for business process outsourcing. The acronym can be found being bounced around more predominantly within the walls of organizations who are largely focused on increasing their performance, efficiency, and growth.
At the basis, BPO means deligating business functions to external, third-party consultants/providers. Key targets for business process outsourcing services typically have been within human resources, accounting, payroll and IT. But the outsourcing of other business processes, like customer service, administrative assistance, sales, business development and research, are gaining traction as additional viable functions.
Just as industries and employers are broadening their business models, so too is business process outsourcing itself adjusting. Recently, the idea of business process outsourcing has been extended to include terms such as business process automation and business process management. This signals the depth at which BPO is truly transforming how organizations in all sectors, and across multiple services and products, are beginning to count on third-party providers as thought partners and key resources.
But Why? Because - the benefits of outsourcing for small businesses, mid-sized companies, established corporations, and even solopreneurs, start-ups, nonprofits, government and faith-based organizations can be tremendous. Here are just a few reasons how over the past 25 years, the outsourcing industry has grown from nothing to a multi-trillion dollar business worldwide.” Resource: EaHelp
BPO helps you to focus on what you do best! It enables you to tip the scales, and invites business scalability. What is not outsourcing really costing you? Business process outsourcing, although an investment, can actually help save employers’ money.
Many companies are already benefiting from BPO, though they might not use that particular term... What services might be on the table to outsource for 2017? Guess it some thought.
If you are overwhelmed in your business, consider visiting our website to view our menu of services that have proven to support the growth of businesses Nationwide.
In a "New Year" state of mind... I love the (idea) of resolutions, and the idea of setting goals and wanting to better and improve oneself in the new year. But resolutions don't really work.... Do you agree?? According to an article I've read in Forbes, the success rate of these resolutions varies between 8% - 17%. So why do we continue to make them?
Perhaps, its because we all love the idea of a fresh start and fulfilling those irresistible dreams and desires that linger in our heads.
Does this lists remind you of yours?:
1. Lose weight
2. Read more
3. Cook more
4. Eat healthy
5. Spend less
This short list is too open-ended. Its not specific enough.
Instead, set goals that are easier to achieve: Even better, create a journal so that you can be held accountable for your actions. The provide specifics for how you plan to attain these goals.
We all seem to be great list makers... Infact, I'm the list master! But there's nothing sillier than creating vague lists that are unattainable. So whether in a journal or a weekly calendar write down your goals in detail and keep track of your achievements. Breaking everything down into small steps, these resolutions become smaller and more achievable goals.
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine.
One of the most fundamental questions business should be asking themselves is: "is my business being looked at as a commodity or brand?" Unfortunately, many of us don't quite know the answer to that question. Although we are putting in the work, what really sets you apart from your competitors. Do you have brand loyalty, or will your customer blow with the wind? Let's ponder that today.... I am for sure working to establish myself as a brand, not just a commodity. I had a wonderful collective one-on-one with business and branding expert Sharon, founder of @womeneur. She brought so many things to my attention about my business.
Just because you are not there yet, doesn't mean your business can't grow and change with dedication and putting in the work. I'm working on it. How about you?!!
On this day where some celebrate the falsehoods of discovery, take the time to rediscover your value.
Lately, you may have been discounting your rates for the sake of gaining a client, but what is this really costing you? Not only that, perhaps your value has been sub-par in comparison to your competitors. Place on top of your radar, time to reevaluate your value - both product/service and rates. Those that find you of value will not falter, those that do, perhaps weren't your ideal client to begin with!