Day: September 18, 2020

Bill Barr's Prosecutorial Warning

The post Bill Barr's Prosecutorial Warning appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

New Jersey Does It Again

Trenton raises taxes on the millionaires it desperately needs.

Bill Barr's Prosecutorial Warning

The left distorts his important speech on political accountability.

The Best VoIP Phone Services (In-Depth Review)

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The best VoIP phone services create exceptional customer experiences. And exceptional customer experiences work wonders for your bottom line. 

Imagine this: a potential customer calls the sales number listed on your website. Six states away, a personal cell phone rings. Your sales person picks it up, answers a few questions, and closes the sale. 

Within a matter of seconds, that potential customer turns into a paying customer rather than being transferred from employee to employee, wasting their time and testing their patience. 

With the right VoIP service, you can streamline and automate the customer journey, resulting in more money for less work. Furthermore, these services are easy to set up, easy to use, and most of the leg work happens behind the scenes. 

But choosing the right service feels like a daunting task. With countless options out there, how do you decide which one’s right for you? 

If you’re not sure how to answer that question, you’re in the right place. In this article, I cover how to choose the right service for your needs, the different types of VoIP services, and my top recommendations. 

Let’s dive in!

The top 6 options for VoIP phone service:

  1. Ooma – best for small businesses
  2. Nextiva – best for remote teams
  3. RingCentral – best for fast-growth
  4. Grasshopper – best for mobile teams
  5. Verizon – best for large businesses
  6. 8×8 – most affordable VoIP service

How to choose the best VoIP phone services for you

With countless VoIP service providers to choose from, finding the perfect solution for your business isn’t always easy. To make things easier, I want to share the criteria I considered when making this list and some must-haves regardless of the company you choose. 

You can use these to help narrow things down as you go through the process. 

Deployment options

Some VoIP phone services work with the hardware you already have, while others require proper installation. In some cases, you may need to buy an adapter or something else to enable the system. 

But others are as simple as a mobile app you download on your phone. 

So, carefully consider the amount of time and the level of support you have when making a decision. The simpler the system, the easier it is, and the less support you need to get things up and running. 

The size of your business

Most VoIP phone service providers charge per user per month. 

And while some offer discounts if you have a large team, those prices can quickly add up and get expensive. 

So it’s essential to understand how many users you have and how to get the best deal with the features you need at a reasonable price point. 

Phone call capabilities

It’s important to consider the phone call capabilities you need because each provider offers different capabilities at different price points. 

Do you need automatic call rejection, call forwarding, or caller ID? What about voicemail, voicemail transcription, and hold music? 

You may also want to consider other capabilities like:

  • Call forwarding and routing
  • Automatic attendants
  • Phone number types
  • Extensions
  • Blocking and auto rejections
  • Voicemail to text
  • Call recording
  • Call history
  • Instant responding
  • Custom greetings

Make a list of everything you need so you can choose the right provider and the right plan. 

Other forms of communication

Most VoIP providers also offer other forms of communication like SMS messaging, document sharing, online faxing, and video conferencing. 

However, they may not all be available on basic plans. 

With that said, you may not need all of them, either. So, carefully consider the additional forms of communication you need your team to have. 

Reliability

Your internet, VoIP provider’s uptime, and power source affect the quality of your phone calls.

With reliable, high-speed internet, you probably won’t have any issues. But what happens if the power goes out? 

If you use your mobile device, you’re probably fine. 

But desk phones aren’t. However, some come with battery backups that may last up to a few hours. So, make sure this is an option if you rent or buy hardware from your VoIP service provider. 

Furthermore, some VoIP providers offer network monitoring that lets them switch to wireless backups if wired data links fail. And you should also expect nothing less than 99.99% uptime, as well. 

The different types of VoIP phone service 

Device-based

For this type of service, you need to buy an adapter from the service provider and connect it to an existing phone (or a phone they provide). 

Software-based

These services are desktop programs. Skype and Google Talk are two good examples. You have to install the program and connect to the internet to use them.

However, most providers offer cloud-hosted and software-based systems.

Cloud-hosted

Cloud-hosted VoIP, or “virtual private-branch-exchange” (PBX), services are available as well. The only hardware you need is a networking router or switch and the provider handles the rest

This includes mobile VoIP services, too. These mobile apps run on Android and Apple devices through cellular internet or a local Wi-Fi network.

All of the options on this list are a combination of cloud-hosted and software-based, with most offering both types of systems. 

#1 – Ooma Review — The best VoIP phone service for small businesses

If you’re a small business looking for a reliable, no-contract VoIP phone service, Ooma is a great choice. They provide everything you need (i.e. hardware, software, and know-how) so you can start using their services in as little as 15 minutes.

Everything is ready to go straight out of the box. And you can keep your existing phone number or swap it out for a new one — for free. 

Ooma offers 35 powerful features, including:

  • A mobile app
  • Virtual receptionist
  • SMS messaging
  • Call blocking 
  • Voicemail and caller ID
  • Unlimited calls in North America
  • One complimentary toll-free number
  • One direct-dial number per user

Furthermore, Ooma has an excellent customer service team ready to help you get up and running, navigate snags, and create a seamless experience for your customers. 

However, the service is missing more advanced features. But it’s incredibly affordable and accessible for small businesses with a tight budget. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about complicated contracts. Ooma’s pricing is simple and straightforward with two business plans, including:

  • Ooma Office — $19.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro — $24.95 per user per month

Ooma Office is suitable for most users. But you can upgrade to the Pro plan if you need a desktop application, call recording, or higher usage limits. 

#2 – Nextiva Review — The best VoIP phone service for remote teams

Remote teams face unique challenges. And they need a VoIP provider equipped with the tools and features required to conquer those challenges.

Nextiva is “made for business owners, not IT wizards” and built with remote teams of all sizes in mind. They offer solutions for small businesses, midsize businesses, and large enterprise companies alike. 

Plus, their in-house customer service team is ready to help every step of the way. 

Nextiva includes a wide variety of VoIP features, including:

  • Android and iOS applications
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Customizable hold music
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Free local OR toll-free number
  • Video and audio meetings
  • Internet faxing

Furthermore, you can make and receive business phone calls straight from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This service completely replaces an in-office phone system, empowering your remote team to stay connected. 

Alternatively, you can use it in conjunction with your current phone system. So, it’s also a great fit for call centers and non-remote teams, as well. 

Nextiva offers simple and affordable pricing. Their plans include:

  1. Essential — $19.95 per user per month
  2. Professional — $20.95 per user per month
  3. Enterprise — $27.95 per line per month

Nextiva boasts an “ultra-high uptime of 99.999%,” with around-the-clock network monitoring and zero outages in 2019. With relatively reliable service, various essential features, and reasonable prices, their service is among the best.

#3 – RingCentral Review — The best VoIP phone service for fast-growth businesses

RingCentral is an excellent option for fast-growth businesses. They’re the world’s #1 business communications platform with plans and features for business communications as well as customer support. 

Plus, RingCentral offers discounts depending on the size of your team. So, as your team grows (regardless of how fast), your phone service affordably scales to match your needs. 

They promise 99.99% uptime, and they maintain countless global data centers. This means you get excellent coverage and phone quality wherever you are on the globe. 

Furthermore, installation and setup are a breeze, thanks to RingCentral’s step-by-step installation and intuitive admin panel. 

You can set up new users from the admin panel, monitor service quality, and view your analytics all in one centralized place. Plus, you can even access it on the go. 

Their services include features like:

  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Voicemail to text
  • Team messaging
  • Document sharing
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Unlimited faxing and conferencing
  • Call recording
  • Developer platform
  • Custom integrations

RingCentral’s most affordable plan starts at $19.99 per user per month, making them a top contender for affordability. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Essentials — $19.99 per user per month
  2. Standard — $24.99 per user per month
  3. Premium — $34.99 per user per month
  4. Ultimate — $49.99 per user per month

While their basic plans are suitable for smaller teams, their Premium and Ultimate plans allow teams to create custom-fit solutions, regardless of how fast they grow. 

#4 – Grasshopper Review — The best VoIP phone service for mobile teams

If your team works in the field, works from home, or works from anywhere in the world, Grasshopper is a smart choice. 

It’s a mobile (or desktop) app that adds a business line and an integrated phone system to your employee’s phones. So, they don’t need to carry around two phones or be present in the office to message customers and accept business calls. 

Plus, you can access and manage your entire phone system with mobile and desktop apps anywhere with an internet connection. 

The best part is that Grasshopper integrates seamlessly with the phones you already have. 

There’s no need to buy any fancy equipment or go through the hassle of messy and time-consuming installations. It’s as easy as picking a number and a plan, downloading the app, and configuring your settings. 

Plus, with Grasshopper, you get access to intuitive, yet powerful, features like:

  • Business text messaging
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Phone extensions
  • Online faxing
  • Custom greetings
  • Instant responses
  • Ruby Receptionist

And while Grasshopper doesn’t automatically enable VoIP calling, you can quickly turn it on for free using the mobile app if you have poor cell service or prefer internet calling instead. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Solo — $26/mo for one number and three extensions
  2. Partner — $44/mo for three numbers and six extensions
  3. Small Business — $80/mo for five numbers and unlimited extensions

Extensions can forward to any number you want. So, you can operate with three employees using Grasshopper’s solo plan. 

This is a breath of fresh air instead of per-user pricing with the other services on this list. 

#5 – Verizon Review — The best VoIP phone service for large businesses

Known for the stability of its network, Verizon provides VoIP business features for medium and large-scale businesses. However, it’s overkill for most small companies and very expensive compared to other options on this list. 

Furthermore, it’s most suitable for businesses that need to be available for customer calls, route calls to the right teams/people, or respond quickly to customer requests. 

Verizon’s VoIP phone service includes 45 features, including:

  • Customized hold announcements/music
  • A virtual receptionist
  • Complete call history
  • Administration web portal
  • Make and receive calls on your phone
  • Visual voicemail features
  • Call transfers
  • Do not disturb mode
  • Inbound caller ID
  • Selective call rejection
  • Instant messaging

You can purchase or rent desk phones through Verizon or purchase a converter to continue using your current equipment. 

Furthermore, you get free access to mobile and desktop apps to access or manage your phone system from anywhere in the world. However, Verizon’s services aren’t available everywhere, so you may not be able to use their services. 

Verizon business phone plans start at $35 per user per month plus any additional fees, taxes, or equipment charges. However, their pricing is confusing when you start reading the fine print. And you have to commit to a two-year contract, as well. 

So, keep that in mind as you’re making your final decisions. 

#6 – 8×8 Review — The most affordable VoIP phone service

If you’re looking for a basic, affordable VoIP phone service, 8×8 is a smart choice. 

Their 8×8 Express Business Phone System plan starts at $12 per user per month (with a free trial). This low pricing makes it the most affordable option on this list. 

However, with that low price point comes limited features. The Express plan includes:

  • Unlimited calling in the US and Canada
  • Global and direct toll-free numbers
  • Basic auto attendant
  • Ring groups
  • Call routing
  • Business SMS

And to access their more advanced features, you have to pay between $25 – $45 per user per month. Which… is more expensive than some of the other options listed here. 

So I don’t recommend it unless you go with the Express Plan. 

Summary

My #1 recommendation for most small businesses is Ooma. It’s affordable, reliable, and easy to set up in about 15 minutes. However, if you’re looking for a large-scale solution, Verizon is your best bet. 

Furthermore, Nextiva is perfect for remote teams, and Grasshopper is a simple, yet powerful, mobile app for small teams who are frequently out of the office. 

If you’re on a tight budget, 8×8 is the cheapest VoIP phone service, starting at $12 per user per month. However, it’s features are limited. 

Regardless of the route you go, don’t forget to consider your requirements, budget, and the criteria we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best VoIP phone service for your business.  

Have you used a VoIP service provider in the past? What was your experience like?

The post The Best VoIP Phone Services (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Find Any Business Email Address

The internet has made communication between businesses more accessible than ever. Collaboration and outreach can often be done with the touch of a button.

But sometimes, finding the email address of someone you’d like to communicate with can be such a hassle.

Getting someone’s contact info doesn’t have to be a headache. Today, I’ll show you how to get anyone’s business email address and teach you how to follow up with them effectively.

All it takes is a simple tool.

Why Would You Need to Find Someone’s Email Address?

You probably know sending unsolicited spam is a terrible idea. So what reason would you have to go tracking down someone’s email address?

Perhaps you need to get in direct contact with someone hard to reach like a CEO, manager, or investor. Maybe you’re trying to recruit a specialist or subject matter expert for contract work. Or you’re trying to get the email of a website or blog owner as a part of a link reclamation strategy.

Some of the examples listed above are forms of email prospecting, the process of researching and connecting with potential leads. Usually, the goal is to get a sale. But you may be after some other benefit like a review, information, or a collaboration.

While people can use the tools we discuss in this article for nefarious purposes, like sending unwanted spam, there are very legitimate reasons to track down someone’s email address.

Rather than waiting around for people to visit your site and reach out, you’re taking matters into your own hands. When done well, it can be one of the best ways to engage with leads and collaborators.

Cold outreach is a contentious subject, but it can be quite useful if you know what you’re doing. The problem is, most marketers are doing it wrong.

Don’t want to be one of them? Keep reading.

How Not to Use Email Search

While there are legitimate reasons to use email search, you’ll want to tread carefully to ensure you’re not sending spam.

What’s the big deal? Well, it could impact your email deliverability. If your domain gets reported frequently, even your legitimate messages will go straight to your target’s spam folder.

And in some countries, it’s downright illegal. In the US, due to the CAN-SPAM Act, it could get your business fined up to $43,280 for each spam email. That’s enough to put almost any small business into bankruptcy.

On top of these consequences, being spammy is going to get your messages ignored. It doesn’t work.

Cold emails and spam are very different things. Spam is an “unsolicited bulk email.” Cold outreach is identified by its personalization and relationship building.

Of course, it’s very easy to cross this line, so make sure you’re not breaking the CAN-SPAM Act.

  • If your message includes simple correspondence rather than an advertisement, only the following applies: Don’t use deceptive subject lines or To/From headers.
  • If it is an ad, identify it as such and include a way to opt-out of future emails.
  • Remove anyone who opts out from any mailing lists within ten days. (Better yet, don’t add people to your mailing lists without their permission.)
  • Include a physical address where you can be contacted.

This step also builds trust with users as they know the reason behind your email and how they can contact you to not receive more email if needed.

Don’t Just Advertise

It’s better to use email search to make meaningful connections with other businesses. Don’t use it solely to advertise, as it could turn your the people you’re trying to contact away.

If you’re sending the same carbon copy email to dozens of people, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s not the vest idea to buy email lists. While it may not be technically illegal, doing so may violate CAN-SPAM. It’s an easy way to get your domain blacklisted.

No one likes receiving unsolicited advertisements. All it does is ruin your reputation for a nominal clickthrough rate.

Instead of sending annoying spam and ensuring potential leads ignore you, let’s learn how to do it right.

Finding Your Target’s Email Address

First step: getting your prospect’s email.

How are we going to do that? It’s simple: with an email finder. When you can’t locate someone’s contact info, these tools are a lifesaver.

All you have to do is input someone’s name or website URL, and you instantly get their email. Sometimes these are scraped from the web. Other times, they are a guess based on other employees’ emails.

The Best Email Finders

It’s important to choose a reliable service, as high bounce rate affects your deliverability. One I recommend is Hunter because it’s easy to use and you get fifty free searches per month.

Hunter’s domain search product gives you access to the emails behind a website, while the Email Finder product gets you any person’s contact info. Let’s try it.

Visit the Email Finder page and type in the name of your prospect and their company’s domain. The results will pop up immediately.

hunter email finder

One cool thing you’ll notice is Hunter cites its sources. You can see where the suggestion came from and check yourself to ensure the information is correct.

It’s good to try out a range of email finders, as they may have different contact info. So if Hunter isn’t helping, FindThatLead and VoilaNorbert are two other services worth trying.

FindThatLead is made for B2B companies. With this tool, you can find leads, search by audience segment, or get someone’s email through social media.

findthatlead email finder

FindThatLead’s Email Sender is a great extra feature. It handles email automation for you and helps you build a campaign targeting the leads you gather.

VoilaNorbert brings a more sophisticated touch to email search. It’s not just a simple tool you plug a domain into; it’s a full service with bulk actions, integrations, and an API.

It runs primarily on a subscription model, but you can also buy one-use credits. Signing up gets you fifty leads for free.

Hunter is perfect if you need a simple email finder. FindThatLead is great for B2B businesses, and VoilaNorbert offers you a full suite of products that are worth the price tag.

Other Ways to Get a Prospect’s Email Address

Before you spend money on a tool you may not need, you might want to consider other ways of obtaining a prospect’s email.

First up: Google your prospect’s name and check if they have a personal website. Chances are, you can find their email on their site’s “About” page, or at least a “Contact” form. If you’re after someone who’s part of a company, you could also try using their business’ contact form on their site and ask to get connected to them.

Check their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. If you’re lucky, their email will be right there in their bio.

You can also try Twitter Advanced Search.

Add your prospect’s Twitter name under “Accounts,” then try words like “contact,” “reach,” “email,” and “dot.”

Try ticking “Only show replies.” You’ll skip the irrelevant posts and get straight to previous contact requests.

Let’s see it in action with my Twitter profile.

find email twitter advanced search

There’s my email. Easy as that.

Reaching Out and Getting a Response

Cold emailing can make establishing the new relationship more difficult. Because it’s unsolicited, you’ll need to clearly state why you’re emailing them right off the bat.

You don’t want to blow it before you’ve even started, so let’s make sure you’re doing it right.

Use Templates as Inspiration

Below I provide some examples and templates you can use for your email sending. You can find plenty of others online, too.

But I don’t recommend copying and pasting your email to multiple prospects. People will see right through you if your emails aren’t personalized.

Templates are a good way to get an idea of what you should be doing. But sending impersonal, carbon copy emails to dozens of people usually won’t get many responses, as most email readers know how to spot something that isn’t personalized to them.

Use a template as a base, then build on it for your business’ needs.

Personalize Your Cold Outreach Email

Personalizing your emails is the best way to increase engagement. And it’s especially important when conducting cold outreach.

How do you personalize your email? Do your research! Subscribe to your prospect’s newsletter, read their articles, skim their books, etc. Find a conversation starter and something to leverage to get their attention.

Here’s an example:

Hey {name},

I just read your book {book title}, and it was insightful. {Mention something specific you liked about it.}

I run a {industry} business, and I still have some questions. Mind if I send them your way?

Thanks,

{your name}

You can also just include the questions in the email.

Another way to personalize your cold email is by bringing up a clear pain point you know your target is experiencing. Example:

Hi,

I was browsing your website, and I noticed a few typos. {Link to page and description of the errors.}

I work for {company}. We provide affordable editing services for bloggers like you. Typos in your work can throw off readers, so we’d like to help you patch those up. Our services page is here if you’re interested {link}.

Regards,

{your name}

Here we present an exact problem and point out where your prospect is experiencing it, then offer a solution. If you have any statistics to prove your service works, throw those in as well.

Email Image Best Practices

As you may know, including images in email marketing is a must, but what about professional B2B emails?

People have come up with plenty of creative ways to use images in cold outreach campaigns. The right image could make your pitch more memorable.

For correspondence and conversation-starters, simple is likely the best way to go.

Presentation is important, but your offer should stand on its own.

That said, if being simple isn’t working for you, give images a try. It could be a good way to increase engagement.

Make a Connection

Cold outreach is all well and good, but one of the best things you can do is to warm those emails up a little bit. You can do that by establishing a connection beforehand.

One way to warm up for an email campaign is to contact your target via their social media accounts. Shooting them a simple direct message through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. might make them more receptive to your offer.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can do hours of research, write the perfect personalized email, and still get ignored.

But what if you strike up a dialogue and get to know your prospect first? Or even reach out and ask for their email directly rather than going around them to find it?

That’s a much better way of getting results.

Conclusion

Email finders are a vital part of an outreach strategy, but finding someone’s email is only half the battle.

You need to put work in, do your research, write a personalized email, and make it creative, so it doesn’t get sent to the trash.

Your goal isn’t just to advertise your services. It’s to create a real relationship that’s mutually beneficial to both parties.

Use email finders for good intentions, like making connections, reaching out, and establishing working relationships. Do not use it for evil, like spamming and sending mindless sales emails.

What are your cold outreach strategies that have gotten the best results?

The post How to Find Any Business Email Address appeared first on Neil Patel.

Top 10 Christian Homemaking Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 10 Christian Homemaking Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Christian Homemaking Podcasts The Homemaking Foundations Podcast | Christian Homemaker’s Podcast Raising Arrows Podcast Simply Convivial | Pep Talks for Homemakers & Homeschoolers Thankful Homemaker Podcast Confidently Called Homemakers Titus 2 Minute Submit Blog Do you want more traffic, leads, and sales? Submit your blog […]

The post Top 10 Christian Homemaking Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Top 10 LSU Tigers Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 10 LSU Tigers Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking LSU Tigers Podcasts Locked On LSU Hold That Podcast Hey Fightin’ Podcast Tiger Pride Podcast Tuff Tiger Talk LSU Breakdown Submit Blog Do you want more traffic, leads, and sales? Submit your blog below if you want to grow your traffic and revenue. Submit Your […]

The post Top 10 LSU Tigers Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Small Business Fundraising: Let Me Count the Ways

Most people only think of loans when they think about funding a business.  Financing is for sure the most common way to do it, but not all financing comes in the form a traditional term loan.  Furthermore, there are options that are not even considered financing because you do not have to repay the funds. The truth is, small business fundraising may not look the way you expect it to.

Small Business Fundraising Can Happen in More Ways than You Thin

Small business fundraising can include loans, but it can also include investors, grants, and more.  Beyond that, if you do go with financing of some sort, there are other options out there besides traditional banks and credit unions. 

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business

Small Business Fundraising: Loans

When you think of loans you probably think of traditional loans.  These are the most popular, but they are not an option for everyone.  There are other types as well. 

Traditional Loans 

These are loans from traditional banks and credit unions.  As a business, your business credit score can help you get some types of funds even if your personal score isn’t awesome.  That isn’t necessarily the case with this type of lending however. 

With a traditional lender term loan, you are almost always going to have to give a personal guarantee.  This means, personal credit will likely weigh heavy on their decision.  If your personal credit score isn’t in order, you’ll probably have trouble.

How high does your credit score have to be?  Typically, if you have at least a 750 you are in pretty good shape. Sometimes you can get approval with a score of 700+, but the terms will not be as favorable. 

If you have awesome business credit, your lender might be more flexible. However, your personal credit score will still play a large role when it comes to terms and interest rate. 

These are the most popular choice for small business fundraising because they typically have the best rates and terms. However, they are also the hardest to get.

SBA Loans

SBA loans are traditional bank loans, but they have a guarantee from the federal government. The Small Business Administration, works with lenders to offer small businesses financing solutions that owners may not be eligible for based on their own credit history. Because the government is offering a guarantee, lenders are able to be more flexible when it comes to the owner’s personal credit score. 

In fact, it is possible to get an SBA microloan with a personal credit score between 620 and 640. These are very small loans, up to $50,000.  They may also require personal collateral. 

The trade-off with SBA loans is that the application process is lengthy. There is a ton of paperwork connected with these types of loans. 

Here are some of the most popular SBA loan programs.

7(a) Loans 

These are federally funded term loans up to $5 million. The funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other specialized institutions in partnership with the SBA process these loans and disburse the funds. 

This is by far the most popular of the SBA loan programs, and the funds are available for a broad range of projects, from working capital to refinancing debt, and even buying a new business or real estate. 

504 Loans 

These loans are also available up to $5 million.  Funds can buy machinery, facilities, or land. They are generally used for expansion, and private sector lenders or nonprofits process and disburse the money. They work well for commercial real estate purchases especially. 

Microloans 

Microloans are available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based nonprofits handle the administration of these programs as intermediaries.  Unlike most other SBA loan programs, financing comes directly from the Small Business Administration. 

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.  

SBA Express loans 

These loans max out at $350,000.  The turnaround for express loans is much faster, with the SBA taking up to 36 hours to give a decision. The application process  is shorter also.  

SBA CAPLine 

There are 4 distinct CAPline programs.  The main difference between each is the types of  expenses they can fund. Each of them carries a maximum amount of $5 million and an interest rate that ranges from 7% to 10%. Funding can take 45 to 90 days. 

The four different programs are: 

  •  Seasonal CAPLines 

Financing for businesses preparing for a seasonal increase in sales.

  • Contract CAPLines 

Financing for businesses that need funding to fill a contract.

  • Builder’s CAPLines 

Financing for businesses taking on a real estate or construction project.

  • Working capital CAPLines 

Financing for businesses that are struggling with a short-term slump in sales.

SBA Community Advantage Loans 

This is a pilot program set to either expire or extend in 2020. It’s designed to promote economic growth in underserved areas and markets.  Those that make decisions about debt approval look over factors such as poor credit or low revenue if the business has the potential to stimulate the economy or create jobs in underserved areas. 

Private Non-Traditional Loans

These are loans from lenders other than traditional banks and credit unions that offer terms loans.  Usually they operate online.  The difference between these and traditional lenders is that the loans have looser approval requirements and a much faster application process. Most often you can simply apply online, get approval in as little as 24 hours, and the funds are in your account within 24 to 48 hours after approval. Here are just a few options for this type of small business fundraising.

Funding Circle

If you are looking for a  low APR, go with Funding Circle.  They have fixed rate term loans and require a credit score of 620 or above.  There is no minimum revenue requirement.  However, they do require you to be in business for at least 2 years.  

OnDeck

OnDeck offers lines of credit and term loans with fixed interest rates.  You can get up to $500,000 with a term loan.  The minimum FICO they require is 600.  In addition, you must have $100,000 minimum annual revenue and be in business for at least one year.  

Rapid Finance

With a large selection of financing products that includes term loans, Rapid Finance can be a great option for larger amounts.  In addition to term loans, they offer bridge loans, healthcare cash advances, and lines of credit.  Terms are from three to six months.  Amounts range from $5,000 to $1,000,000. Unfortunately, they do not make their minimum credit score readily available. Still, you can use their quote tool. It will give you an idea of what you qualify for. 

StreetShares

StreetShares offers invoice financing, term loans, and lines of credit.  There is only a one year time in business requirement.  Also, they require less minimum annual revenue than the others at only $25,000.  The minimum credit score is 600.  

Small Business Fundraising: Other FinancingSmall Biz Fundraising Credit Suite

In addition to term loans, there are other types of financing available for small business fundraising.  

Lines of Credit

This is basically the traditional lender’s version of a business credit card. The credit is revolving.  That means you only pay back what you use, just like a credit card. Rates are typically much better than a credit card however.  The application and approval process is more similar to that of a traditional term loan than a credit card.

If you need revolving credit and can qualify for a term loan, this is the best of the available business money types for you. It is great for bridging cash gaps and covering short term expenses without the high credit card interest rates. 

Unlike credit cards, there are no cash back rewards or loyalty points with a line of credit.  As a result,  some business owners prefer business credit cards despite typically higher rates.   

Invoice Factoring

If you are an established business with accounts receivable, you have invoice factoring as an option. This is where the lender buys your outstanding invoices at a premium, and then collects the full amount themselves. You get cash right away, without waiting for your customers to pay the invoices.

This is a good option if you need cash fast, or if you do not qualify for other types of funds. The interest rate varies based on hold old the invoices are.  A merchant cash advance is a similar option, in which a lender lends cash based on average daily credit card sales. Repayment is made daily credit card sales as well. 

Small Business Fundraising: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a newer option for finding investors. While the average Joe that wants to start a business needs funding, it is not always possible to find one or two large investors. With crowdfunding, you can literally have a “crowd” of investors fund your business $5 and $10 at the time. 

There are many crowdfunding sites, but the most popular are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The platforms are similar but there are some important differences. The most obvious is the timing of when you actually receive the funds that others invest in your company.

Kickstarter requires a preset goal, and you do not receive your funds until you reach your goal. For example, if you set a goal of $20,000 when you start your campaign, you will not receive any money that investors offer up until you reach that $20,000. 

Indiegogo also requires a goal.  In contrast to Kickstarter, they offer the option to receive funds as you go if you prefer. They also have an option called InDemand. This program allows you to continue raising funds after your original campaign is over without starting a whole new campaign. It is more of an extension of the first one.

There are other crowdfunding sites out there as well. Different ones work better for certain businesses and vendors. To determine which one you might have the most luck with, you will need to do some research. Keep in mind your type of business and the specific business each one appeals too. 

Small Business Fundraising: Angel Investors

These are informal investors that generally invest at the start of a company. They typically receive equity in exchange.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business

Angel investing is risky.   If a startup fails early on, investors will lose their investments completely. As a result, professionals will look for a defined exit strategy, acquisitions, or initial public offerings (IPOs).

The best way to find angel investors is to ask around. You can also try an angel investors website or network. 

Small Business Fundraising: Grants

While grants are less commonly available than other options, they are more common that you probably think. Typically, they are offered by professional organizations. There are some government grants available also. There is stiff competition, but they are definitely worth a shot if you think you may qualify. 

While requirements vary from grant to grant, and most are only awarded to a certain number of recipients, they are definitely worth exploring.  This is especially true if you fall into one of these basic categories. 

  • Women owned business
  • Minority owned business
  • Businesses run by veterans
  • Businesses in low income areas

There are also some corporations that offer grants in a contest format that do not require much other than that you meet the corporation’s definition of a small business and win the contest. 

Small Business Fundraising: Explore All Your Options

When you need to think about small business fundraising, be sure to consider all your options.  It may be that traditional loans will work best for you, but that may not be the case at all. Even if you do qualify for loans, why not consider grants and investors as well.  It’s free money. Any money you can get that will reduce the amount of debt you have to take on is a good thing. 

If you want to expand your opportunities even further, work on the overall fundability of your business. There are things affecting it that you probably don’t even realize can make a difference.  There is a lot more to it than just your credit score.  

How you set up your business, your business phone number, and even past speeding tickets can indirectly affect fundability.  If you work to reduce negative impact and increase positive impact on fundability, you can open the door to even more small business fundraising opportunities. 

The post Small Business Fundraising: Let Me Count the Ways appeared first on Credit Suite.

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