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A bad John Roberts ruling is leading to more legal mischief.
The recourse is the law, not violence, when a politician overreaches.
If you’ve ever led a marketing team, you know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by tasks and plans.
It happens all the time: you miss one deadline and end up missing more. The result is a half-baked campaign that fails to hit your goals.
Without a concrete schedule, this becomes an inevitable cycle.
To solve this problem, consider using a marketing calendar.
Why Use a Marketing Calendar?
In my experience, you need a marketing calendar to get a full overview of your team’s deliverables, deadlines, and tasks.
Recent research in an article by Evinex states that marketers who record their strategies are 538% more likely to complete tasks on time. Consider goal-setting as well, as 81% of people who set goals do achieve them.
I’ve worked on plenty of marketing campaigns, and I can tell you that it’s easier to hit your goals when you can streamline your tasks and manage deadlines.
So today, I’ll show you how to create your marketing calendar.
Step 1: Understand Your Customers
Every task in your marketing calendar should revolve around attracting your target audience. Your marketing efforts’ ultimate purpose is to reach the most customers and get them past the sales funnel.
For example, if you’re offering video games to students, you’ll want to launch aggressive marketing campaigns during school breaks. Similarly, if you’re targeting employed adults, you’ll want to post content during normal break times, after work hours, and or weekends.
Here are questions to consider when planning the activities in your marketing calendar:
- What does my audience need?
- What are their interests?
- When is the best time to engage with them?
- How will they interact with my content?
- Are they more likely to sign-up for your program or service during a specific period or season of the year?
You have to think long term to reach the most number of consumers for your marketing campaigns.
Step 2: Identify Marketing Calendar Responsibilities
Every member of your marketing team has a role to fill. Their responsibilities are often based on their skills, which will determine their tasks in your marketing calendar.
Here are some typical marketing roles:
- Marketing Specialist
- Social Media Manager
- Search Engine Optimization Specialist
- Email Marketing Manager
- Web Content Writer
- Web Producer
- Product Manager
- Marketing Analyst
- Advertising Coordinator
Here an example of how to make it work for you.
- Web Content writer: works on blog posts, guest posts, social media copy, and landing pages.
- Social Media Manager: responds to social media messages, schedules posts, and plans social media marketing campaigns.
- Email Marketing Manager: builds customer segments, oversees email marketing campaigns, and develops contact strategies.
Since most marketers on your team work on different content types or areas, you may want to organize their tasks through other marketing calendars and templates.
Here are common types of marketing calendars to consider:
- Content marketing calendar: With this all-purpose calendar, you get full visibility of your entire marketing strategy. This calendar includes your team’s marketing functions, content marketing campaigns, podcast series, SEO tasks, etc.
- Editorial calendar: Use this to streamline the production and publication schedule of blogs or articles.
- Social media calendar: If your business is active in several social media platforms, you’ll want to plan posts and organize tasks. This calendar lets you track high-performing posts and determine the best times to post throughout the week.
- Email marketing calendar: Use this to plan, organize, and schedule the content you’ll share with your subscribers.
The specific goal of each calendar is to organize and schedule your marketing initiatives.
Unlike your marketing plan, which lists down your deliverables, a marketing calendar shows when your team can expect to work on a task. Marketers may use several types of calendars to track related activities in one document.
Step 3: Determine Marketing Calendar Content Quantity and Publication Frequency
Most successful websites have a specific quantity and frequency for publishing content.
It would be best to plot out the content you must create per week or month. Then, once you’ve determined how often you will promote, consider your marketing budget and your team’s capabilities.
The types of content which you can publish per week include:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Social media posts
A good tip is to finish a consistent number of deliverables each week.
For instance, you can host a podcast episode on Tuesdays and post a long-form blog post every Thursday. Meanwhile, you may aggregate the results of your social media campaigns every Friday.
Yes, it can be challenging to plan and fulfill different types of marketing content. But a consistent weekly plan enables your team to establish a routine and consistently finish their tasks.
Step 4: Identify Marketing Calendar Themes
For B2C retailers, core themes of marketing campaigns revolve around specific seasons or dates. A millennial fashion brand could regularly promote back-to-school outfits near the end of the summer.
In contrast, B2B brands could focus on their industry’s opportunities and challenges. Due to the pandemic, some businesses may want to cover topics such as “digital transformation,” “future of work,” and “long-term impacts of a recession.”
Now get a spreadsheet and list potential themes that are specific to your industry. Set a meeting and invite your team to brainstorm topics relevant to your target market.
Now use Ubersuggest to find out the search volume of each keyword. Themes with a high search volume are likely to be relevant topics that your target audience searches for.
For this example, I used Ubersuggest to research the phrase “digital transformation.”
I discovered the topic has a pretty high search volume and a moderate SEO difficulty, so it is a good theme to keep in mind.
I highly recommend having various themes and topics to cover each month, especially for brands catering to different buyer personas.
In the long-run, this will help you establish a variety and keep posts fresh.
Step 5: Creating a Marketing Calendar Backlog
Next, it’s time to create a marketing calendar backlog.
Think of content projects and marketing deliverables. During the process, you may discover some tasks are better suited for execution at a later date.
Having a content backlog ensures you can document all the ideas for your next campaigns, podcasts, or blog posts.
Here’s an example in Google Sheets to create a content backlog, but you can use other software and apps too.
The document should include the type of content, topic or headline, priority level, and deadline for each content idea.
Coschedule has a useful marketing project prioritization matrix for identifying tasks with the most significant impact on your marketing goals.
They suggest using a “10x versus 10% framework,” which goes like this:
- 10x ideas are relevant to a significant portion of your target consumers. These ideas are likely to increase your results by at least 10x.
- 10% of ideas refer to projects with minimal or almost no impact on your marketing results.
Let’s see how you can put this theory into action:
- Step 1: Create an X/Y chart and place “Value” in the vertical Y-axis and “Target Audience” in the horizontal X-axis.
- Step 2: List down each idea in a sticky note and place them on the X/Y chart. The most valuable projects are placed on the top, while projects relevant to most people are on the right side.
The most prioritized content should be situated on the top right corner of the chart.
Step 6: Create a Marketing Calendar
While there are many calendar tools and software in the market, we’ll use Trello for this article as an example.
A Trello kanban board usually consists of tasks that are organized into lists.
However, Trello also has a calendar view that gives users a complete overview of their tasks and deadlines per month.
Here’s how it’s done:
First, create a Trello board.
Hover to the Menu Bar and click “Power-Ups.”
On the “Essential Power-Ups” section, add the “Calendar” to visualize Trello cards in a calendar format.
To create a task, click a date, and choose the “Add Card” button.
Then type the name, deadline, and task description.
You can open up the tool again and complete the following fields:
- Card description: provides more in-depth information about the task.
- Comments: gives feedback to team members. You can @mention your team member so they will receive a notification.
- Add members: lets users assign tasks to members of the Trello board.
- Add checklist: adds subtasks for activities that require several stages to accomplish.
- Add due date: adds deadlines to cards.
- Add attachments: attaches files from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box.
Trello calendars provide a complete overview of your marketing team’s activities and deadlines. By monitoring deadlines, marketers can set priorities and accurately determine the time it takes to complete each task.
Note: Mark vacations and holidays. These events could impact the schedule for your marketing content.
Step 7: Updating Your Marketing Calendar
Planning your marketing initiatives often involve a multi-step process. Prior to publication, most marketing content starts with a draft and requires reviews from superiors.
Here’s how it’s done in Trello with a sample account.
First, a deliverable gets written on the Content Backlog of your Google Sheet. Content with a high level of priority is the first one to get assigned to an author. When a content creator claims a task, the status of the deliverable becomes “In Progress.”
Next, return to Trello and create a card for the task. Add a due date, description, comments, and assign it to a member of your team.
Trello lets you sort cards into “Lists.” The title of each list can be based on the current status of the task, which includes:
- Open: a task still needs a deadline, description, due date, and other additional information before it gets assigned.
- In Progress: a task has been assigned, and your colleague is working on it.
- In Review: a task has been completed, but it still needs to be reviewed by your organization’s superiors.
- Completed: the task is done.
If your colleague is working on the task, set the status to “In Progress.”
After submitting the draft, you can classify it as “In Review.”
In this phase, a superior will check the article to make edits or ask revisions. If there are significant changes, the card returns to the “In Progress” column with a new due date.
Once the task receives approval, then the card can be transferred to the “Closed” column.
You can also de-clutter the Trello board by archiving cards upon publication of the post. This removes them from the list.
Step 8: Plan Ahead
Now that you’ve launched a marketing calendar, you’re ready to plan your projects for the upcoming weeks or months.
Holiday marketing campaigns take months or weeks to plan.
For instance, the entire bundle of holidays for the end of the year include Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Christmas. Many marketers may begin holiday planning as early as August to prepare for the influx of customers during their busiest time.
There’s no need to come up with specific content to publish yet. Just be aware of the main marketing campaigns and tweak the plan as you see fit.
Aside from preparing for upcoming campaigns, a calendar will help you set a realistic amount of projects. You can create content weeks in advance to hit your marketing goals during peak sales time. Your team won’t be stressed out with a practical schedule or be forced to downsize the campaign due to missed deadlines.
If you want to build a marketing campaign, you need an elaborate plan to succeed.
A marketing calendar lets you determine how far in advance you need to begin your marketing campaigns and the amount of time you have to fulfill them. Setting up tasks and deadlines is the only way to streamline your campaigns and make sure your team is on track to hit their goals.
How will you use your marketing calendar?
The post How To Create A Marketing Calendar That Will Streamline Your Campaigns appeared first on Neil Patel.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Just a decade ago, conference calls were challenging to set up and manage.
But today, I can click a few buttons and hop on a call with my entire team in a matter of seconds from the comfort of my home while my teammates stay safely in theirs.
However, the best conference call services go beyond basic phone calls.
They also offer a suite of collaboration and connectivity tools that make our current situation easier to navigate… together.
As the demand for remote connectivity rises, new services are popping up left and right.
Plus, there are already hundreds of options to choose from, making it feel impossible to choose the right conference call services for your team.
So to help make your life a bit easier, I looked at dozens of options and narrowed it down to my top eight recommendations.
The 8 top options for conference call services
- GoToMeeting – Easiest conference call software
- RingCentral – Best all-inclusive communication software
- ClickMeeting – Best for hosting webinars
- Grasshopper – Best virtual business phone system
- Zoom – Best for video conference calls
- Google Meet – Best for G Suite users
- Vast Conference – Best for instant conference calling
- Bluejeans Meetings – Best for video and sound quality
How to choose the best conference call service for you
The best conference call service for you and your team depends on various factors, including the size of your business, the level of security you need, and extra features you’re interested in.
It may help to start with a comprehensive list of everything you need. Then, you can use that as you go through the decision-making process.
And as you create your list, don’t forget to include the following considerations.
Number of participants
A conference call with ten people is vastly different than a conference call with hundreds of participants.
So, it’s essential to consider your team’s size and the number of participants you expect for any given meeting. Some service providers include low limits, while others allow thousands of participants depending on the plan you choose.
Whether your meetings are confidential or not, security is an important feature to consider. Furthermore, it should be a priority rather than an afterthought.
So, make sure you consider:
- The level of control over who can join the call
- 256-bit TLS encryption to make sure the line is secure
- Security policies of the service provider
Furthermore, pay attention to how the provider stores your data and what they’re allowed to do with it if you use their services.
The world is more mobile and more distant than ever before. That said, mobile access is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a conference call service.
Giving employees and other meeting attendees the ability to join using their mobile device is convenient for everyone involved. And it may mean fewer cancellations plus more of the right participants joining in, even if they’re not at their desk.
So, ensure the service provider you choose includes mobile access.
Audio and video quality
A conference call with low audio and video can be incredibly frustrating. So, it’s crucial to choose a service provider with top-notch video and audio quality.
Of course, your internet connection plays a role. But you should carefully consider choosing a conference call service with HD video and audio capabilities for a smoother experience all around.
If you need other features, like a virtual phone system or the ability to host webinars, you can bundle conference calling services with software specializing in something else.
You may also want to consider other features, like:
- Call recording
- Hold music
- Internal communication
- Call forwarding
- Extension numbers
- Custom greetings
- Text messaging
- Internet faxing
It’s also important to consider if you need to buy new equipment to handle a conference call service you’re considering. Some software integrates directly with the hardware you already have, making setup and everyday use a breeze.
However, others may require special equipment or something newer than what you currently use. And they may require professional installation, as well, depending on the number of users you need.
Some may work with your employees’ personal phones, mitigating the need for separate business phones.
The different types of conference call services
There are two main types of conference call services: assisted and reservationless.
The one you’re probably most familiar with is reservationless. It’s the most common and easiest to use because you can do everything on your own. All you have to do is create a bridge and then share the link with anyone you want to join.
It’s perfect for small, informal meetings and regular conference calls.
Assisted conference calls are much more formal. However, they require you to rely on someone else to organize. Assisted calls are most commonly used for large events with attendees all over the world.
The operator organizes the call and may even help invite the right people. Plus, they usually greet attendees when they join and help manage the flow of your meetings.
While an actual human being traditionally does this, today’s technology has helped automate the process.
As such, many conference call services offer an auto-assistant to greet callers, create custom joining experiences, gather caller contact information, store it, highlight action items, and more.
#1 – GoToMeeting Review — The easiest conference call software
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use online conference call software, go with GoToMeeting. It’s an excellent option for both small and large businesses alike. Plus, it’s incredibly simple to set up.
In fact, you can host or join meetings in one click from your phone, your laptop, a conference room, or any remote location.
Furthermore, you can easily host and join audio, video, and web meetings as well. So, whether you’re the administrator or an attendee, it’s a smooth and seamless process for everyone involved.
With GoToMeeting, you get a ton of influential conference calling features, including:
- Screen sharing of your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet
- VoIP conference calling
- Face-to-face HD video conferencing
- Intuitive, yet powerful, mobile access
- Meeting recording and transcription
- Internal and external instant messaging
- Smart meeting assistant
- Toll-free conferencing
- 25 video feeds per meeting
- Drawing tools
Plus, meeting participants can join using commuter mode, which helps them save mobile data and provides a distraction-free experience on their mobile devices.
Unlike most of the other options on this list, GoToMeeting doesn’t offer a free plan.
But their paid plans are incredibly affordable and accessible for businesses of all sizes. Those premium plans include:
- Professional — $12 per organizer per month (up to 150 participants)
- Business — $16 per organizer per month (up to 250 participants)
- Enterprise — Custom pricing only (up to 3,000 participants)
Start your 14-day free trial to see if GoToMeeting is right for you!
#2 – RingCentral Review — The best all-inclusive communications tool
RingCentral is an all-in-one business communications platform encompassing instant messaging, video, and phone. So, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a comprehensive communication tool.
Furthermore, it’s secure, easy to use, reliable, and accessible on any device.
Plus, you’re in excellent company with more than 400,000 customers worldwide.
And the best part? They offer an incredibly robust free plan for video conferencing. With it, you can meet with up to 100 participants (for up to 40 minutes) anytime from anywhere on any device.
The free plan also comes with incredible features, including:
- Simultaneous screen sharing
- Host controls and user management
- Custom meeting IDs
- HD voice and video
- Whiteboarding and annotations
- In-meeting chat capabilities
- Unlimited file sharing
- Meeting recordings
And their premium plans include advanced features like phone support, reporting, single sign on, and advanced team messaging tools.
RingCentral’s all-in-one office pricing is a bit expensive, with plans starting at $19.99 per user per month. However, those plans come with a ton of extra features, including everything you need to streamline business communications.
So, it’s an excellent choice if you need everything from SMS messaging and video conferencing to business phones and internet faxing for your entire team.
Alternatively, you can upgrade to a paid conferencing-only plan with RingCentral Meetings. Their Meetings plans include:
- Essentials — $14.99 per organizer per month (for small businesses)
- Advanced — $19.99 per organizer per month (for enterprise businesses)
Sign up for a free forever plan to get started with RingCentral today!
#3 – ClickMeeting Review — The best conference call service for hosting webinars
Webinars are an excellent way to demo products, deliver online training, and host online events. They’re useful for everything from marketing and sales to education and large meetings.
So, if you’re looking for a tool that offers webinar capabilities and conference call features, ClickMeeting is your best option.
However, it’s a bit expensive, so I only recommend it if you plan to use it for both purposes.
The software comes with a ton of excellent features for both conference calls and webinars, including things like:
- Paid and automated webinar sequences
- Webinar timeline views
- Independent subaccounts
- Custom branding
- Customized invitations
- Registration pages
- Waiting room with agenda
- Whiteboarding and screen sharing
- Chat translation
- Advanced analytics
Furthermore, they offer an extensive knowledge base so you can learn everything to make the most of your new software without calling customer service.
However, keep in mind that all plans cap conference calls to 25 participants.
ClickMeeting offers a free 30-day trial, but there isn’t a free forever plan. There are three options to choose from, including:
- Live — $25 per month
- Automated — $40 per month
- Enterprise — Custom pricing only
Start your 30-day free trial to take ClickMeeting for a test drive today!
#4 – Grasshopper Review — The best virtual business phone system
Grasshopper is a bit different than the other options on this list. Their software is a simple way to turn your personal phone into a business phone without worrying about buying new hardware.
So, if you’re a solopreneur or small team looking for an easy way to set up business phones for your team, Grasshopper is an excellent choice.
However, I don’t recommend going this route unless you actually need a virtual business phone system.
The software is incredibly easy to set up. All you have to do is select your phone number, choose a pricing plan, download the app, configure your settings, and you’re good to go.
It seriously takes just a few minutes and is incredibly easy to use. Aside from conference calling, you also get access to powerful features, including:
- Toll-free, local, and vanity numbers
- Custom greetings
- Personal extensions
- Call routing
- Multi-call handling
- Instant response text messages
- SMS messaging
- Internet faxing
- Voicemail transcription
While most of the app features are incredibly easy to use, conference calling is a bit less traditional than the other options listed here. Rather than participants joining your call, you have to call them, making it more aligned with old-school conference calls.
But you get unlimited conference calls with up to ten participants and the added business-phone functionality all for an extremely affordable price.
Grasshopper’s paid plans include:
- Solo — $26 per month for one phone number and three extensions
- Partner — $44 per month for three phone numbers and six extensions
- Small Business — $80 per month for five numbers and unlimited extensions
Sign up for a free 7-day trial to see if it’s right for you today!
#5 – Zoom Review — The best for free video conference calls
As more people shift to remote work, Zoom has become a household name.
It’s one of the most popular video conferencing tools on the market—and for a good reason.
Their robust free plan is more than enough for most users, making it an excellent and budget-friendly option for individuals and small businesses alike.
Their free plan includes unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes and unlimited 1:1 meetings with a 24-hour time cap. Furthermore, you also get free access to features like:
- Automatic calendar syncing
- Robust security encryption
- Role-based user access
- Waiting rooms and password protection
- HD audio and video
- Up to 49 videos on the screen
- Screen sharing and recording
- Hand raising and in-meeting chat
- Video and audio settings
- Dedicated dial-in numbers
All for free. So, if you’re looking for a robust and intuitive conference call service without paying a penny, Zoom is definitely one of the best options on the market today.
However, if you outgrow the free plan and need something more advanced, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans, including:
- Pro — $14.99/month or $149.90/license per year (up to nine licenses)
- Business — $19.99/month or $199.90/license per year (minimum of 10 licenses)
- Enterprise — $19.99/month or $199.90/license per year (minimum of 100 licenses)
Sign up for a free forever plan to see if Zoom is right for you and your team today!
#6 – Google Meet Review — The best conference call service for G Suite users
Google Meet is the upgraded version (and replacement) of Google Hangouts.
And if you’re an avid Google fan and already use G Suite, Google Meet is entirely free for you to use, making it an excellent and affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
Furthermore, you don’t have to do anything to sign up if you already have a G Suite or Gmail account. All you have to do is head to the Google Meet page to open up a meeting room.
Doing so automatically pulls in your contacts and information, too.
The best part is that all of Google’s tools and software integrate seamlessly. So, you can quickly and easily jump straight into a video chat from their Chat tool, your calendar, or even your mobile device.
Plus, the free Google Meet tool includes intuitive features like:
- US and international dial-in numbers
- Secure Google global infrastructure
- Encrypted video conferencing
- No third-party plugins or software required
- Live captioning
- Low-light mode
- Built-in noise cancellation
On the Basic G Suite plan, you can host calls with up to 100 participants. If you need more than that, you’ll need to upgrade to the Business or Enterprise plan, which supports 150 and 250 participants, respectively.
If you already use G Suite, head over to Google Meet to get started!
#7 – Vast Conference — The best for assisted conference calls
If you’re interested in hosting formal, assisted conference calls, Vast Conference is the way to go. While they also offer reservationless meetings, their assisted conference call features are where they shine.
Operator-assisted calls require a bit more planning in advance. However, all you need to do is call their reservation desk to set up a time and date.
From there, you can choose the level of assistance you need for your event.
Operators can help with the planning of your event, show up live during your event for technical assistance and call quality, and deliver call recordings and participant lists afterward.
It’s like hiring the assistant you never knew you needed. On top of that, operator-assisted calls may also include:
- Welcoming and identifying callers
- Continuous assistance from staff
- Up to 6,000 participants
- A pre-conference room meeting
- Triple-checked event transcriptions
These types of conference calls start at $0.16 per minute per line for a standard event and $0.19 per minute per line for premium events. Plus, there are no contracts or obligations as these are managed separately from their reservationless meeting services.
Vast’s reservationless plans are quite expensive compared to other options on this list. So, I don’t recommend it unless you’re using their operator-assisted services.
Choose your plan to start planning your operator-assisted event today!
#8 – Bluejeans Meetings Review — The best conference call service for sound quality
If you need meetings with crystal clear sound quality, Bluejeans Meetings is definitely the way to go. Every plan includes Dolby voice audio with built-in noise reduction, spatial audio, and dynamic leveling.
Plus, you also get HD video, so you never have to worry about low quality.
Besides excellent sound and video quality, you also get access to a ton of influential conference calling features, even on the lowest-tier, including:
- Unlimited 1:1 and group meetings
- No time caps whatsoever
- 5 hours of hosted meeting recordings
- Meeting highlight reels and action item tagging
- Outlook and Google calendar integrations
- Video pinning and content slider
- Desktop and application sharing
- Remote desktop control
- Whiteboarding and annotations
- Advanced host controls
- Safe driving mode
Bluejeans is one of the most feature-rich options on this list. However, that comes with a steeper price point and fewer meeting participants allowed on each plan.
Plus, keep in mind you get excellent crystal-clear audio and video quality, making it feel like everyone’s in the same room. It also helps reduce dialog delays and ensures everyone speaks at the same level.
So if that’s something you need, the extra price is well worth it. Their pricing plans include:
- Standard — $9.99 per month billed annually (for up to 50 participants)
- Pro — $13.99 per month billed annually (for up to 75 participants)
- Enterprise — Custom pricing only (for up to 100 participants)
Try it free for seven days to see if Bluejeans is right for you!
Wrapping things up
Plus, they include a ton of intuitive and powerful features that make connecting with coworkers and colleagues more straightforward than ever.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect choice for you.
So, don’t forget to consider the features and must-haves we talked about as you go about finding the best conference call services for you and your team.
Which conference call software do you prefer?
The post The Best Conference Call Services (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.
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The post Top 45 Ghost Story Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.
COVID-19 turned the economy on its head. Now, with things starting to open back up, businesses are wondering if they are even going to be able to make it. Most are starting to see they need to have business credit if they don’t already. But, is there a quick way to build business credit before it’s too late?
Find Out How To Get Funds Fast While Utilizing this Quick Way to Build Business Credit
The truth is, you can’t snap your fingers. It’s a process, and you have to work through it. However, knowing why you need business credit and how to work that process helps. While it may not be a quick way to build business credit in the terms of a great score magically appearing overnight, it is definitely quicker than not following the process at all.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: Business Credit vs Personal Credit
The simplest way to explain it is that business credit is like your personal credit, but it is in the name of your business. That’s not to say there are no other differences, but that is the gist. Basically, if you do things right, you have a totally separate business credit report that is in the name of your business, not your name personally. Your personal accounts do not show up on this report, and your business accounts, that are on this report, do not show up on your personal credit report.
Business credit reports come from Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business. When there is a problem with your business credit, it does not affect your ability to get funding based on your personal credit. Conversely, problems on your personal credit do not affect your ability to get funding for your business based solely on your business credit.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: Why Is Business Credit Necessary?
Business credit is necessary for a number of reasons. The most obvious is to help you get funding for your business. However, it also helps protect your personal credit. If your business accounts are reporting to your personal credit report, you are going to see some debt-credit ratio issues. This is the ratio of your debt in relation to your available credit. Since business expenses are generally higher than personal expenses, you’re likely to run balances at or near your limits consistently, which will have a negative affect on your personal credit score.
Business credit typically makes you eligible for higher limit cards that are better suited for large business expenditures. It also keeps these large expenditures off your personal cards and personal credit report.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: There Are No Magic Beans
So, now you understand why you need business credit, but you need to know how to build it in a crazy economy, and fast. The thing is, there are no magic beans when it comes to a quick way to build business credit. Remember what I said. A great business credit score will not appear magically overnight like a beanstalk. You do have to actually work all the way through the process. However, there are a few shortcuts you can try once your business is set up properly. More on how to do that later.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: How to Make it Faster
Okay, so let’s assume for a minute that you already have your business set up in a way that it is a separate entity from yourself. This is how you get accounts reporting to your business credit report rather than your personal report. If you’ve done that, there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling, and give it a little push even.
Ask Current Vendors for Credit
The first step is to ask those vendors with which you already have a relationship to extend credit. Since you are already working with them, they may be more willing to do so without requiring a credit check. Be sure to ask if they will report payments to the business credit reporting agencies. If they will not, then it won’t matter if they give you credit or not. Accounts not reported do not help build your credit score.
Ask Utilities to Report
You already pay things like rent, telephone, internet, electricity, and water bills on a regular basis. You can ask providers to report those payments to the business credit reporting agencies. They do not have to do it. However, they might, and it can only help build your score faster.
Establish Tradelines With Starter Vendors
After those two things, the next step is to open tradelines with starter vendors. These are vendors that offer net 30 invoices without any type of credit check, and then they will report your payments on those invoices to the business credit reporting agencies.
The kicker is starter vendors do not usually market themselves as such. This makes them a little hard to find without some expert guidance. As a general rule, you need to have 3 to 5 vendor tradelines reporting to get a good solid start to your business credit score. Here are a few of the easiest to get started with.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Crown Office Supplies
Crown Office Supplies offers paper and other office supplies. They report to all three of the major business credit reporting agencies, which of course include D & B, Experian, and Equifax. It can be hard to find vendors which report to Equifax, so getting credit with Crown is a good move.
To qualify, you will need to be an entity in good standing with Secretary of State and an EIN number with IRS. A business address that matches everywhere (both online and offline), a D-U-N-S number, a business license (if applicable), as well as a business bank account are all necessary. Your business must be at least 60 days old. There is also a membership fee of $99 annually upon approval.
Uline sells shipping, packing, and industrial supplies. They report to Dun & Bradstreet as well. This means, you guessed it, you have to have a D-U-N-S number.
In addition, they ask for 2 references and a bank reference. The first few orders might need to be paid in advance to get approval for Net 30 terms.
Grainger Industrial Supply
Grainger sells power tools, pumps, hardware and other things. In addition, they can handle maintenance of your auto fleet. You need a business license and EIN to quality, as well as a D-U-N-S number.
After you pay on several tradeline accounts that report for a while, you should have a solid foundation to start applying for other types of business credit. Store cards are the easiest to get first and continue building your score. Next are fleet cards, and then finally, the regular cards that are not limited by where they can be used or what they can be used to purchase.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: What to Do In the Meantime?
So, let’s say you start this process, but you need funds right now. What can you do? The credit line hybrid may be just the answer. You can get approval with personal credit that is lower than what most traditional lenders require, and if you are set up properly it will report to the business credit reporting agencies and help build your business credit even faster.
It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.
Credit Line Hybrid: Qualifications?
What does it take to qualify? I’m going to tell you, but don’t stop reading if you don’t meet all of the requirements. There are ways around some of them.
First, your personal credit score should be at least 685. Also, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 5 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It is preferred that you already have established business credit, but not necessarily required.
Are you thinking there is no way you qualify? Stop thinking that. If you do not meet all of the requirements, you can take on a credit partner that does. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you access funding, but you still get the benefits.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: Credit Line Hybrid Benefits
There are many benefits to using a credit line hybrid. First, it is unsecured, meaning you do not have to have any collateral to put up. Next, you don’t have to provide any bank statements or financials.
Even better, typical approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report, and often you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months. This allows you to put that savings back into your business.
The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it. Also, with the approval for multiple credit cards, competition is created. This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months.
The credit line hybrid is a fast way to get cash while working on a quick way to build business credit.
Quick Way to Build Business Credit: What’s This About Setting Up?
Remember how I said earlier all of this only works if your business is set up properly. That’s because unless your business is set up to be an entity separate from you as the owner that is fundable all on its own, your accounts will report to your personal credit. There will be no separate business credit. How do you accomplish this separation?
Separate Contact Information
The first step is to make sure your business has its own phone number, fax number, and address. That doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line, or even a separate location. You do not even have to have a fax machine. You can get a business number that will ring to your personal phone and a virtual address online quickly and easily.
Apply for an EIN
The next thing you need to do is get an EIN for your business. This is an identifying number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally. You can get one for free from the IRS.
You Have to Incorporate
Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary to fundability. It lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate and offers some protection from liability. It also solidifies your business as a separate entity from yourself.
Business Bank Account
You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account. There are a few reasons for this. First, it will help you keep track of business finances. It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes. The big one for building business credit is, you got it, it separates your business from you as the owner.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
If a business does not have all the necessary licenses it needs to run, red flags are going to fly up all over the place. Do the research you need to do to ensure you have all of the licenses necessary to legitimately run your business at the federal, state, and local levels.
These days, you do not exist if you do not have a website. However, having a poorly put together website can be even worse. It is the first impression you make on a lot of people. Spend the time and money necessary to ensure your website is professionally designed and works well. Pay for hosting too. Don’t use a free hosting service. Furthermore, your business needs a dedicated business email address. Make sure it has the same URL as your website. Don’t use a free service such as Yahoo or Gmail.
Lastly, you have to have a D-U-N-S Number. It’s imperative. Dun & Bradstreet is hands down the largest and most commonly used business credit reporting agency. You cannot have a score with them if you do not have a D-U-N-S number. It’s free on their website.
Remember Business Credit Is Just One Piece of Fundability
There is so much more to fundability than business credit. It is a tangled web indeed. If you are looking for a quick way to build business credit, keep this in mind. Furthermore, if your business isn’t set up properly, nothing else you do to build fundability or business credit will matter. Get that done today.
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