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02 Apr 5 tips to utilize a loan better for your small business

Every business needs ready access to cash, to strengthen and expand its boundary whenever it senses a new opportunity. But this cash is not always a handy prospect and the working capital or the income generated by the business does not always suffice to be utilised for the additional investment towards channelizing growth. In such a case as an owner you will have to depend on an extra cash flow or order advance to take care of the challenging needs. Alternatively you can use money from a loan to take care of several aspects connected to your expansion and growth. Here are some ways in which a loan comes handy, for a business: Pay for inventory and equipment Sometimes an urgent order can come your way. While managing a small business it is not easy for you to invest in and stock up on inventories in advance. Also the inventory when not put to use can lead to wastage of money and stock both. In that case you will only want to buy raw materials and other requirement connected to order fulfilment, whenever needs rise. Avail a loan when there is a potential urgent order knocking at your door and fulfil the same using the money you financed. You can also buy equipment using this money. Oversee the regular expenses Your money from several ends can’t get blocked with the clients for a good duration of time. There might be audits for which your client is unable to pay for the order or for some other technical reason like they will only pay post 30 days of order fulfilment etc. In such cases, you will need funds to pay salaries for your staffs. To run your everyday expenses in office, etc. If you take a loan, then paying for such costs will become easier during this financial crunch. Refinancing your debts While running a business, there might be several instances when you would have had to take loans or undergo other debts to take care of immediate requirements. Rather than letting this debt grow out of hand, you can pay for the same using one loan. Alternatively, you can avail a loan and put that to use to begin and invest on a marketing plan. This will initiate as a good branding exercise and will shift the gears for your business pushing it towards growth!...

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26 Mar How to hire good employees for your small business?

Automating businesses using latest technology offering is fine, but you need to balance the same by hiring good employees too. You are running a small business and have just started counting your profits, in such a case investing on good and efficient human resource is better, as otherwise technology orientation can actually cost you more than expected. Not only is affordability a question, but getting human touch personalizes your way of doing business, which also helps you cease better opportunity in terms of work and clients. So take a look at some of the ways in which you can hire good employees for your small business: Screen candidates to pick up the most dedicated individuals Talent and degree do go a long way and does add a lot of value to your business. But hiring specialized people will also mean losing them faster to competition. So to get the deal right, hire employees who are more dedicated towards your line of business. You will easily be able to spot such traits through a proper one-to-one screening interview. So balance degrees with dedication and hire individuals who are more passionate. Take suggestions and hire on referrals You can ask your friends, talk to trusted clients and other employees in your organization if they know of any good individual. This will help you throw the spotlight on candidates, who are already acquainted with someone you know. Getting a friend of friend, or a family of a friend to work with you, will also mean hiring someone trusted along with getting someone who has already proved his merit and mettle to someone you know. This is a win-win situation. Use your expertise to judge good candidates With years of experience up your sleeves, you know better about the nuances of doing business. If you select candidates by keeping your vision steady, you are sure to succeed. Just be confident with your own experience and expertise and choose someone who gives you the right vibes or reminds you of someone who has exhibited a strong business profile in the past. Profiling will help you judge better and get candidates perfectly suitable for your business. Your hiring skills are accurate, you just need to believe in your experience and confidently seek for someone with strengths matching the progress goals of your business. Adapting to this mantra will help you get hold of the candidates who are tuned to have a good and long career with you....

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19 Mar 3 ways to scale your small business

When running a business, there are a lot of things that draws your attention. You are constantly juggling between assets, the new contracts, and new purchases & orders. Amidst all this, you will need to also bring out some time to look at aspects of leveraging the business. There are ways to do that, and practice smarter ways of doing that will bring in more growth within a short span of time. So, check out some ways of scaling your business using technology assistance and smart inputs: Bring in some marketing devices and SEO The conventional ways of getting clients through pitches and word of mouth is always a winner. Newer online methods also helps you succeed in today’s technology backed world. With changing dynamics to take care of, you can build up a website for your business, open some social media pages. Appoint a social media team or outsource expert assistance. The idea is to appear in every client search, to win more contracts and contacts alike from the same. Doing it professionally helps you optimize your profiles better and keeps you ahead in the competition. Build an audience network A simple ‘good job done’ is not enough. Make it count. After each successful order and completion of a good deal, insist the client to drop an email sharing their experience with you. The email should read as a simple testimonial, which sums up the pros and cons of doing business with you. You can later use grabs from these testimonials acquired over months to add a slide on your company presentation. When you pitch clients, more than you talking about your own business, they will get more pleased and attracted to your service when they read through these real testimonials and acknowledgements. Hire consultants to motivate your team motivating the human resource and engaging them with an inspirational talk will always benefit your business in the longer run. There can be no alternative to on ground business building exercise and that does not always mean fetching clients. It means nurturing the supplier chain too. So paying attention to the same you can hire or outsource a client, who can visit your office on a weekly basis to screen through the week’s progress for your staffs and inspire them to do better through different exercise, inputs, and educative knowledge sharing. Your business is your child and nurturing it through odds and evens is a task you have embarked upon. And you know your ways of doing business in the right way. Just balance out techniques and give way to growth through proper planning and by putting better ideas to action!...

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12 Mar 5 resolutions for your small business this New Year

We are already a few months into 2018 and it’s not yet late for you to observe some resolutions for the whole year. With a business to take care, every day is a new day, so making a resolution for a fresh start or to add something new to your business is never too late. So how will you resolve to make it better for your business? How will you change things around in the New Year to bring a big bucket of profit? Here are some resolution plans to look forward to in this New Year! Learn to use cash flow effectively Your income or cash flow gives agility to your business. Thus using the income as an investment will help you gain fluidity to your business. This will also induce a savings habit into your ways of doing business. Make your business lean by arranging your priorities This New Year do not neglect little cripple and hiccup bothering your business. Just concentrate and look deeply. In case there are difficulties and bumpers, just smooth the edges and bring about a bigger change in your daily business. Find out if some supplier is proving a hindrance to your business, or an underperforming machine is drawing more money towards repeated maintenance. Cut all these hindrances and allow your business to jump over these barriers to succeed by setting your priorities right. Communicate and connect better with your business and clients When you are leading from the front, it is obvious that you will miss out on little details that creates your business value system. So take out some time from your busy schedule and simply the understanding you have with your clients and employees. Go out and visit clients. Invite them over to office to have a healthy conversation. Talking facts helps you get business insights and will allow you to change the model of your business and help you resolve little underlying problems. Delegate a proper marketing plan along with these smaller focused changes. Employ a proper dedicated team to review the weekly workings of your business. This will help you access changes and then you track these progresses over the period of a year to understand how your smaller daily resolutions have brought about a calculative bigger growth to your business....

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05 Mar How to add innovation to your small business?

You have just started a business and taking one day at a time to grow with your clients and offerings. There is no harm in doing so. Rather taking it slow will help you cover more grounds and expand faster. Also having a vision for expansion and progressing through a well-laid out business plan will help you grow faster and more methodically. Pumping in innovation into the various aspects of your business will help you get competitive and will allow you to capitalize your earnings better. Take a look at some ways in which you can innovate your business performance: Work on the potential through simple innovation Simplistic innovation tactics can go a long way. A change in the packing of your product, choosing a new supplier, or simply finding a newer way to market your product will bring about a lot of prominent change. Team building and brainstorming for innovation Set out some goals and let your team know about the same. Keep aside a few hours every week, when you can sit with your team to discuss newer ideas to bring about a change in the way you do business. Healthy conversation with the team helps in team building and will in turn work in motivating everyone to think better ideas for the business to lead it to progress. Take criticism as a positive suggestion Your staffs are your strength and listening to them is not harm. You are a small business, just setting out to fly. In this regard find a balance between positive criticism and negative pinches. Listen to healthy suggestions coming from clients, friends, team, and staffs to innovate. Involve them in the process and show how their powerful ideas have reap good successful results with time. Invest and nurture innovation Capitalize in technology to improve your operations and make your business more competitive. Invest in innovation in the form of sophisticated machinery, software, and manpower. There is no end to learning to get involved and take a break to attend seminars, workshops, webinars, and conferences. Take your staffs with you or invite good speakers over to office to give them a worthwhile session. With a business to take care of, you should always focus on the future and stay on top of improvements. Innovate on technological parameters and stay ahead of the rest. Make your business count and make your clients proud of the association they have with you!...

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12 Feb Dow plunges 1,033 points and sinks into correction

Source: Matt Egan - CNN Money For the second time this week, the Dow plunged more than 1,000 points. And the stock market is now in a correction -- 10% off its record high just two weeks ago.  Fears about the bond market, inflation and interest rates seized investors again Thursday and drove the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all into the red for the year. The Dow finished with a decline of 1,033 points, the second-worst point drop in history, eclipsed only by Monday's 1,175-point nosedive. The percentage decline on Thursday, 4.2%, wasn't nearly as bad as the scary days of the 2008 financial crisis. But a steady climb that lasted more than a year has given way to two weeks of shaky selling. The Dow is on track for its worst weekly percentage drop since the crisis. "This is not the end of the world, but it is uncomfortable," said Rich Guerrini, CEO of PNC Investments. The economy is strong, but investors are worried about inflation, and the possibility that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than expected to fight it. The 10-year Treasury yield briefly hit a four-year high of 2.88%. The bond market is a decent indicator of fears about inflation. "The bond market has definitely got the stock market's attention," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. "Is the bond market telling us something we don't know? Is there more inflation down the road than we're expecting?" The Dow closed below 24,000 for the first time since late November. The Nasdaq ended at a two-month low and just shy of a correction. Trading has been choppy for days, and the market has swung in wide ranges -- up and down nearly 2,300 points over the past week. Consider this: The S&P 500 has risen or fallen 1% five times in the past two weeks. That only happened eight times all of last year. And the VIX, a measure of market volatility, is near the highest level since August 2015. "A big down day like Monday doesn't just go away. We're going to continue to see volatile days," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "It can take two to three weeks to work through the system." It's a big shift from 2017 and the beginning of 2018, when the stock market went the longest period ever without tumbling. But such calm is unusual, and stocks overheated. "We had an epic run. There was euphoria because there hadn't been a pullback," said Jeffrey Schulze, investment strategist at ClearBridge Investments. Bonds are spooking stocks The bull market has feasted on extremely low bond rates for years, but those days may be ending. Investors worry that Treasury yields will rise to levels that make stocks less attractive,...

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12 Feb U.S. mid-market lenders concerned about leverage, loan docs: report

Source: Leela Parker Deo - Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lenders to U.S. mid-sized businesses are increasingly concerned about the higher levels of debt held by middle market companies versus a year ago, as well as what they consider to be less restrictive leveraged loan documents, a survey by Carl Marks Advisors found. Higher leverage levels and borrower-friendly loan agreements, the result of highly competitive market conditions last year that pushed lenders to make such concessions, could impact loan portfolios if business performance comes under pressure. Carl Marks Advisors, a mid-market focused corporate restructuring and investment banking firm, conducted the national online survey in December 2017 of 190 participants from US middle market lending-related fields, including traditional bank lenders, alternative lenders, legal and accounting advisors, restructuring advisors, private equity and hedge fund investors, and other financial and business consultants. “This is now the third-longest economic expansion in US history, so it is getting a little bit long-dated. Companies are not necessarily improving and there is a lot of capital - both debt and equity - chasing too few deals,” Patrick Flynn, managing director at Carl Marks Advisors, said in an interview ahead of the survey’s release. “But while there is relatively more concern today than a year ago, it is not necessarily a predictor that the next contraction is any closer.” The survey found that 76% of respondents are more concerned than they were at the beginning of 2017 about leverage levels at US middle market companies. “In 2017 many a transaction has added debt, but there has not been a lot of value created,” said Joseph D’Angelo, a partner at Carl Marks Advisors. “There are not a lot of unencumbered assets left to borrow more money against. If a company doesn’t perform through that, it will likely see a restructuring.” Leverage on middle market institutional deals increased in 2017 to 5.51x total debt to Ebitda compared to 4.95x in 2016, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. Ebitda, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, is a measure of a company’s operating performance. Regarding concessions that lenders have offered to borrowers and private equity sponsors in the face of aggressive market conditions, 48% of respondents said they considered loan documents executed in 2017 to be less restrictive for borrowers than those executed immediately prior to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Thirty-five percent said they did not consider documents to be less restrictive, while 17% said they were unsure. Middle market covenant-lite issuance reached an all-time high of US$25bn in 2017, LPC data show. By comparison, before the financial crisis, 2007 middle market covenant-lite volume totaled US$7.49bn. “There is a fully functioning credit market and pressure to deploy capital remains robust. It’s hard to predict what will trigger the pendulum back...

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12 Feb Get Ready for Most Cryptocurrencies to Hit Zero, Goldman Says

Source: Kana Nishizawa - Debanked The tumble in cryptocurrencies that erased nearly $500 billion of market value over the past month could get a lot worse, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of investment research. Most digital currencies are unlikely to survive in their current form, and investors should prepare for coins to lose all their value as they’re replaced by a small set of future competitors, Goldman’s Steve Strongin said in a report dated Feb. 5. While he didn’t posit a timeframe for losses in existing coins, he said recent price swings indicated a bubble and that the tendency for different tokens to move in lockstep wasn’t rational for a “few-winners-take-most” market. “The high correlation between the different cryptocurrencies worries me,” Strongin said. “Because of the lack of intrinsic value, the currencies that don’t survive will most likely trade to zero.” Today’s digital coins lack long-term staying power because of slow transaction times, security challenges and high maintenance costs, according to Strongin. He said the introduction of regulated Bitcoin futures hasn’t addressed those concerns and he dismissed the idea of a first-mover advantage -- noting that few of Internet bubble’s high fliers survived after the late 1990s. “Are any of today’s cryptocurrencies going to be an Amazon or a Google, or will they end up like many of the now-defunct search engines? Just because we are in a speculative bubble does not mean current prices can’t increase for a handful of survivors,” Strongin said. “At the same time, it probably does mean that most, if not all, will never see their recent peaks again.” Strongin was more upbeat about the blockchain technology that underlies digital currencies, saying it could help improve financial ledgers. But even there he sounded a note of caution, arguing that current technology doesn’t yet offer the speed required for market transactions....

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02 Feb Holiday Bubble Helped Cause (Routine) Crypto Stumble

By: Dan Orlando | DeBanked Those cherished-yet awkward-family moments you navigated this holiday may be responsible for Bitcoin’s recent rollercoaster ride. While that may be painting with a bit of a broad brush, it does appear that that the post New Year’s dip that befell the cryptocurrency world was tied to a festive hype-bubble. Between Thanksgiving and the December holidays cryptocurrency was a hot topic around the dinner table while people spent extended time with their families, John Omar, head of the Chain Operator blog and cryptocurrency trading course, told deBanked. Omar explained that not only were those that were already schooled in the ways of crypto-trading discussing their financial gains over apple cider and stuffing, but family and friends who were previously unaware or unfamiliar with the likes of Bitcoin were having their interests piqued. This spurred a rapid uptick in pricing on the way to to unprecedented gains in Bitcoin and other crypto counterparts. “No, this is not the end of crypto,” Omar told deBanked. “This is far from the end. What we’re seeing is a price correction after 2 months of unprecedented growth. It’s not even a historic price correction. There have been more dramatic movements. There are a few reasons why the price is correcting at this time: potential regulation from Korea, China and France, and people who bought into cryptocurrencies after the holidays selling off to realize profits.” Emerson Taymor, founding partner of the strategies firm Philosophie, agrees with Omar’s stance. “Bitcoin and the market has seen much more significant drops in its past and always rebounded with a vengeance. It is a healthy correction, but far from the end,” he said. Like Omar, Taymor also attributes the recent drop to “regulatory headwind” overseas. While he believes that cryptocurrencies best days are not necessarily behind them, there will be losers on the path to determining a clear winner. “Remember, cryptocurrency is much more than the “stock price,” Taymor said. “We are seeing a fundamental shift in how technology is going to be created. I believe we will have another big run up for the next 6-12 months and then we will have the real bubble bursting. Much like the Dot Com bubble, we will see people lose a lot of money and companies implode like Pets.com and Webvan, but we’ll also discover the next Amazon!”   APPLY FOR FUNDING NOW!...

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02 Feb Americans aren’t worried about losing their jobs

by Patrick Gillespie   @CNNMoney Americans feel very confident about the economy and their job prospects. About 84% of Americans -- excluding self-employed workers -- say they are not worried about losing their job this year, according to a Marist/NPR poll published Monday that examined the characteristics of the American workforce. Nine in ten Americans believe that their employer values their work, and the majority of workers say they got a raise last year. The optimism reflects how healthy the U.S. job market is to start 2018. Unemployment is at its lowest level, 4.1%, in 18 years. The U.S. economy has added jobs for 87 consecutive months, the longest streak on record. It's also grown, albeit slowly, since 2009. Consumer confidence remains very high, and by some indexes, near its highest point since 2000. It's also a great time to look for a job. There are nearly 6 million jobs openings in the United States, near an all-time high, according to Labor Department data. Employers increasingly say in surveys that they are forced to pay more as they struggle to find skilled talent or workers willing to do demanding work. But it's not all sunshine and roses for workers. The growth of the gig economy (read: Uber driver), paired with a persistently high number of workers in part-time jobs, means there are many more Americans working without typical benefits, like health insurance, a retirement plan or pension, according to the Marist/NPR poll. About 65% of part-time workers and half of contract workers do not receive benefits from their jobs. A little more than half of them earn less than $50,000 a year. For contract workers, they say their income fluctuates month to month, or seasonally. The poll's findings on part-timers builds on previous research. University of New Hampshire professor Rebecca Glauber found in a separate study that part-time workers who want a full-time job are five times likelier to live in poverty compared to full-timers. These part-timers are also paid 19% less per hour compared with their full-time counterparts in similar, hourly jobs. In December, there were 4.9 million Americans working part-time who wanted a full-time position. That figure has come down significantly since the Great Recession, but it's still slightly higher than its pre-recession level. However, there are far more Americans working part-time for voluntary reasons -- lifestyle preference, family reasons and so on. There were 21.1 million voluntary part-time workers in December. That figure is up from 19.5 million a decade ago. And the benefits of the gig economy appear to be rubbing off on Uber drivers and Task Rabbiters: 66% of part-time workers say they prefer their schedule over the rigors of a full-time gig, according to the Marist/NPR poll, which surveyed nearly 1,300 adults in...

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