Day: November 13, 2020

Will Biden Say Howdy Modi?

He’ll probably be tougher than Trump on Indian human-rights problems.

'The Foundation Stone of American Democracy'

An anniversary celebration in Massachusetts.

How to Buy a Domain Name

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Buying a domain name is one of the first steps to launching a website. 

But finding the perfect domain for your site and registering that domain can feel like a tall task if you’ve never been through this process. Fortunately, domain registration isn’t that difficult—you just need to follow a few simple steps.

Throughout my career, I’ve bought a lot of domains—too many to count. Some of those experiences were significantly better than others.  

This guide will explain my two favorite ways to buy a domain; one of those methods will even get you a free domain. I’ll also cover the differences between these options in greater detail and explain how to buy a premium domain. Let’s dive in.

How to Buy a Domain Name With Bluehost

Bluehost is a web hosting provider. In fact, they are one of the most reputable and reliable web hosts on the market today. More than two million sites across the globe are hosted by Bluehost.

But Bluehost also provides domain registration services. If you use Bluehost for web hosting, you’ll get a free domain for one year. 

Since you need a hosting plan anyways, you can use Bluehost as a one-stop-shop to bundle hosting and domain registration into a single package. This is a great option for beginners starting a new website from scratch. 

Step #1 – Navigate to Bluehost.com

The first step is easy. Just make your way over to the Bluehost website.

From here, scan the menu and select “Hosting” at the top of the screen. 

I’ll say it again; click HOSTING. Do not click on the “Domains” menu option. 

If you click on the latter, you won’t be bundling your hosting plan with domain registration, which defeats the purpose of using Bluehost (and you won’t get the domain for free).

Step #2 – Choose a Hosting Plan

The hosting menu will expand and present you with three different options:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • VPS Hosting

Shared hosting will be the best option for 99% of people starting a new website. So go ahead and select that from the expanded drop-down menu. 

You’ll still be able to bundle your hosting plan and domain registration (and get a free domain) if you select dedicated or VPS, but most of you won’t need to worry about that right now; stick with shared hosting.  

Bluehost offers four different shared web hosting plans to choose from—Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro:

If you’re launching a small personal site, the Basic entry-level plan starting at $3.95 per month should be fine for you. For those of you launching a site for your business, I’d go with the Choice Plus plan, at a minimum. 

The extra features that come with this plan are worth the few extra bucks per month. 

To continue, just click the “Select” button under the plan that fits your needs.

Step #3 – Register Your Domain

Once you choose a web hosting plan, Bluehost will automatically prompt you to set up your domain. You’ll be presented with two different options here:

  • Create a new domain
  • Use a domain you own

You’ll want to use the “Create a new domain” option to search for available domains.

Simply enter the domain you want to buy into the search bar and choose your domain extension (.com, .net, .blog, .biz, .info, .store, .co, .us, etc.). 

In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to want a .com extension. The only reason why I’d consider an alternative domain extension is if the .com domain is taken. For example, if you try to create a domain using nike.com or apple.com, those will obviously be unavailable. But a different extension might be available for purchase.

So if you’re set on a name, you could always get an alternative extension in the meantime while you figure out how to buy the .com extension. I’ll explain how to buy domains that have already been registered in greater detail later in this guide (although you probably won’t be able to buy Nike or Apple).

Another reason to consider an alternative domain extension is the price. Lots of these extensions will be cheaper than a .com domain.

For a small blog, side project, or personal site, that’s fine if you want to save a few dollars. But businesses should always register a .com domain.

Step #4 – Finalize Your Contract

Once you’ve chosen an available domain name, simply create your Bluehost account and select your plan terms.

Definitely make sure you get “Domain Privacy + Protection” located in the “Package Extras” section. Otherwise, your name, email, phone number, and address will all become available on a public database. It’s well worth the extra $0.99 per month. 

The other options, like SiteLock Security and Codeguard Basic, are up to you. I’d get them, but there are alternative third-party services out there that you can use for site backups and security. I think it’s just easier to get them now.

That’s it! 

Once you enter your payment details, your hosting plan and new domain purchase will be finalized. Your domain name is free for the first year of your contract. 

How to Buy a Domain Name With Namecheap

The market is flooded with domain registrars. But Namecheap is definitely my favorite. It’s super easy for anyone to buy a domain using this registrar, even if it’s your first time.

This method is a bit more straightforward than using Bluehost, only because you’re not bundling any other services—Namecheap is strictly for buying a domain. 

The entire process can be completed in just three quick steps.

Step #1 – Visit Namecheap.com

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is make your way over the Namecheap website.

From here, you can search for your domain directly from the homepage.

Enter your desired domain name into the search bar, which can be found in the center of the screen. 

Make sure that “Register” is toggled above that search bar. The “Transfer” option is made for people who have an existing domain and want to switch registrars—that’s not for you. 

Click the search icon to continue. 

Step #2 – Choose Your Extension

As a domain registrar, Namecheap offers an extensive list of domain extensions. 

You’ll have the option to choose from things like .fun, .vip, .studio, .health, .xyz, .lol, .design, and hundreds of other extensions. But in most cases, choosing a .com extension will be your best bet. 

Just click the “Add to cart” button next to the extensions you want and then checkout.

Step #3 – Confirm Your Order

When you’re buying a domain directly from a domain registrar, you can skip all of the extras. You won’t need an SSL certificate, professional email, or anything else. You’ll be able to get that from your web hosting provider.

Definitely make sure you have WhoisGuard enabled. This protects your personal information from being available to the public. Some domain registrars make you pay extra for this, but Namecheap offers it free forever. 

Turn on “auto-renew” for your domain registration as well. Otherwise, you’ll have to renew it manually every year, which puts you at risk for the registration lapsing. 

It’s that easy! 

Once you confirm the order, you’ll be asked to create a Namecheap account. After you enter your payment details and finalize the purchase, the domain is yours. 

Ways to Buy a Domain Name

Generally speaking, there are two main ways to buy a domain name. Both of which have been covered above—domain registrars and hosting providers. 

There are pros and cons to each method, and the process for each one is very different.

I’ll quickly explain the differences between these options so you can figure out which one is the best choice for your website. 

Buying a Domain From a Standalone Domain Registrar

In most cases, going directly to a domain registrar like Namecheap will be your best option. As the name implies, these platforms specialize in domain registration. 

Buying domains directly from a standalone registrar will be faster than alternative methods. That’s because you’re not bundling other services, so the process is more direct.

Domain registrars also make it easier to buy domains in bulk. So if you’re in the market for more than a single domain, definitely go with a registrar. 

If you want alternative extensions, domain registrars will offer significantly more options. While I typically don’t recommend anything other than a .com domain, some of you might want to browse through hundreds of alternative extensions. 

Transferring domain names with a registrar is also easier than using a service that doesn’t specialize in domain registration. So if you want to transfer your domain or think you might want to transfer it in the future, use a domain registrar.

It’s usually cheaper to buy domains directly from a registrar. For starters, the domain itself will likely be less expensive. But the best registrars, like Namecheap, include WhoisGuard protection for free with the purchase of a domain. You probably won’t get that from a hosting company. 

The downside of getting your domain from a registrar is that there’s an extra step in the process. You’ll still have to get web hosting elsewhere. 

Buying a Domain From a Web Hosting Company

For the most part, domain registration and web hosting should be kept separately. Bluehost is the exception to this rule. So if you want to bundle your domain name with a hosting plan, Bluehost is really the only option to consider.

There are a couple of main reasons why you’d go this route.

For beginners who are new to the world of web hosting and domain registration, getting everything under one roof is just easier. It’s less steps, and you can manage your hosting plan and domain name from a single account. 

Furthermore, Bluehost gives you a free domain name for one year. You’ll never get a deal like that from a domain registrar. 

But getting a domain from a hosting provider isn’t ideal if you want to buy domains in bulk. It’s fine for a single domain, but beyond that, it gets messy. You also won’t have as many options for alternative extensions (if you want something unique). 

Most web hosting providers will also charge you extra for domain privacy + protection, whereas you can get this for free from a domain registrar. 

How to Buy a Premium Domain

Premium domains are a great way to stand out online. They are great for branding and marketing purposes as well.

What is a premium domain?

A premium domain is typically short, memorable, and easy to spell. High-quality domains have a high search volume and are closely associated with an industry, service, or topic. They also have TLDs (top-level domains) like .com, .org, or .net. 

Premium domains are in high demand. So they’ll typically cost a bit more to register. The process of buying a premium domain can be different as well since it’s not always clear if the domain is actually for sale. Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say you try to register a premium domain from a domain registrar or hosting company. Just because it says “unavailable,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be acquired. These are the steps for buying a premium domain:

Step #1 – Determine if the Domain Seems Attainable

If a domain is unavailable from a registrar, try going directly to that website and see what you find. If there’s an active website or business using that domain, it might be tougher to acquire. 

But if you don’t see an active site, there’s a good chance that domain will be for sale.

Here’s an example for management.com:

Clearly, not much is happening on this site. So if you wanted this premium domain, there is a pretty good indication here that it’s for sale. 

In some cases, you’ll even see text like “buy this domain” or information that says “this domain might be for sale.” All of these are good signs that the domain is attainable.

Step #2 – Find Out Who Owns the Domain

There are two ways to complete this step:

  • Figure it out on your own
  • Hire a domain broker to do it for you

Doing it on your own can be tricky. You could run a quick WHOIS lookup, but most people won’t have their personal information listed. Using Google to your advantage can be helpful. Some domains might be linked to another website or social media profile. You could potentially find the owner that way.

Personally, I’d recommend using a broker. Sedo is one of my favorite domain marketplaces and brokerage sites.

Brokers can almost always find out who owns the domain because they have such a massive network. They’ll determine if the domain is actually for sale and how much the seller is asking for. Your broker can even handle the negotiations on your behalf.

The downside of using a broker is that you’ll have to pay a brokerage fee. But in most cases, you’ll only have to pay if the sale actually goes through.

Other great places to find a premium domain online include:

If a domain is for sale, you’ll be able to get the ball rolling with Sedo or one of the other options listed above.

Step #3 – Negotiate and Buy

Often times, the listing price of a premium domain can be negotiable. If you think it’s a fair price and fits well within your budget, you can speed up the buying process by offering the asking price in full.

If a domain is in high-demand, this also increases your chances of securing it before someone else makes a better offer.

But in some cases, domains can be outrageously priced. You need to ask yourself if it’s actually worth the cost. Sometimes you might be better off just looking for another domain. Unless a certain domain is crucial to the success of your business, it can be tough to justify a five or six-figure listing price. 

Don’t be afraid to walk away during the negotiation process. If it’s not meant to be, you can move on or try again at a later time. This is also another reason why it’s helpful to have a broker.

Step #4 – Transfer the Domain

Once the domain has been purchased, the final step is transferring it to your domain registrar. Again, I recommend Namecheap.com for this because it’s so easy. 

Make sure you turn on the auto-renewal after the transfer. Otherwise, you’ll have to worry about manually renewing your domain each year. If you forget and the name lapses, your premium domain could be up for grabs on the open market.

The process is officially complete when you see the domain sitting inside of your domain registrar account. Now you can finally rest easy knowing that you’ve secured your premium domain.

How to Buy a Domain Name That’s Not For Sale

Not every premium domain will be available on a brokerage site or domain marketplace. But if you really want to pursue a specific domain, you still might have a chance.

Similar to the steps we took in the last section, you’ll need to figure out who owns the domain. If a domain isn’t for sale, this step should be a bit easier, and you can probably do it on your own. 

Most domains that aren’t for sale will be linked to an active website. That site should have some sort of contact information on it. You can reach out directly to get in contact with the business owner or decision-maker associated with the domain. 

Start with a general inquiry saying that you’re interested in buying the domain; don’t throw an offer out there just yet (or you could end up overpaying). 

See what type of response you get and if the site owner is willing to sell. Unlike a premium domain that’s listed on a domain marketplace, you might have to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to buy a domain that’s not currently for sale. 

If it’s absolutely imperative that you secure this particular domain, consider making the owner an offer that they can’t refuse. 

Just be aware that this won’t always work. It’s like trying to buy a house that’s not for sale. You can knock on the front door and make a cash offer, but the homeowner might decide to stay put.

If they’re willing to sell, use a broker to make sure the purchase goes smoothly. Then immediately transfer that domain to your registrar after you obtain ownership.

Summary

Buying a domain name doesn’t need to be that complicated.

Even beginners and first-time buyers can complete this process in just a few minutes by following the step-by-step instructions explained in this guide.

Buying a premium domain might take a bit longer. But again, you can still make it happen by following the process I’ve outlined above. Good luck and happy buying!

The post How to Buy a Domain Name appeared first on Neil Patel.

Top 15 Mermaiding Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2020

Top 15 Mermaiding Blogs Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Mermaiding Blogs Fin Fun Blog | More from the mermaid experts at Fin Fun Mermaid! Planet Mermaid | Mermaid blog AquaMermaid Blog Sun Tail Mermaid | Mermaid Tales | a blog about all things mermaid Vancouver Mermaid | Blog Mermaid Kat Shop | Blog The Magic […]

The post Top 15 Mermaiding Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

How to Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession – Amazing!

The Fantastic Way to Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession and Get the Financing You Need – Even if the Economy Tanks

Crowdfunding has become all the rage and it’s not surprising. It’s (generally) free money which you do not have to repay. And you can get these funds without needing to give up any ownership or control over your small business. Additionally it can help you to determine the popularity of an idea or a prototype or invention. Because there is no sense in continuing if there is no interest in your design. Still, a lot of entrepreneurs can use crowdfunding to start a business in a recession.

You will need to make a lot of choices before you even launch a startup crowdfunding campaign. And this goes double in an economic downturn.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: How Much?

Your very first decision should be: just how much do I need to crowdfund? If you need $1 million, you are going to need to crowdfund more than that. Why? Because that is how crowdfunding platforms make their money– they take a percentage of any money you can raise. Thus, you will need to take that into consideration. Crowdfunding percent charges vary from 4% to 10%.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet. Save your money during the recession!

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Will I Succeed?

Another decision has to do with how successful you think your campaign will be. If you are extremely confident that you will be 100% funded at the end of your campaign, then traditional funding is for you. If you are not sure, then try GoFundMe’s flexible funding.

With flexible funding, you, the campaign runner, can keep your donations even if your campaign falls short. However, for this benefit, you will have to pay a higher fee to GoFundMe. Other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter don’t offer this option.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: What Should I Offer for Perks?

Yes, you will have to offer perks to your donors. Perks can take many forms– buttons, tees, book marks – every one of those are possible tangible perks. Consider a perk format which can sync with your business. If you sell homemade jam, then perhaps create a unique flavor just for the campaign, and offer bigger and bigger-sized jars depending on donation amount.

If you are a horseback riding stable, offer a complimentary lesson or a postcard with a favorite horse’s image on it, or something like that. Does your startup flip houses? Then consider offering a coupon to a neighborhood home supply company (work with them beforehand, of course) or the like.

Pro Tip on Perks

Physical perks are a pain! A lot of people love them, and they will stand out. However, you also have to ship physical perks. International shipping is extremely expensive, even for small items. So if you offer physical perks, specify whether you will allow international donor addresses.

Even if everything has to be shipped in the US, you are still left with working with a data base of names and addresses (a few of which might have misprints or be incomplete) and usually a range of available perks. Did Jane want the stuffed teddy bear or the book mark? Did Alan want the pennant or the tee shirt? Do Jane and Alan live at the same address so perhaps you could mail their perks out together? What if a perk is lost or broken in the mail? And what if it injures someone?

Because of this, if you can do it, try for digital perks. For a house flipping startup, you might record video footage about home design or repair. For a pastry shop, you could offer downloads of recipes. And for a health club, maybe offer digital coupons for a free month of membership.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet. Save your money during the recession!

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Your Campaign

Your campaign’s success is far from assured. However, you can capitalize on a few proven approaches. First off consider these four feelings that you need to engender in donors. Use one or more of them as the focal point of your campaign as a starting point.

Urgency

The first two and last two days of a crowdfunding campaign are pretty much always the days with the biggest payoffs. Often, lengthening the campaign doesn’t make you significantly more money. So why not open a campaign for only a week? Don’t let donors feel they can contribute any old time they feel like it.

Scarcity

If you have thousands of something or other to supply as a perk, it will not be as desirable. If you only have a few copies of a specific perk, that will instill a feeling in some potential donors that they just have to have it. Do this with your larger donation levels only. Therefore, you might want to establish a perk/donation level system similar to this:

Donation Level Number of Perks
Lowest 1,000
Second lowest 500 (reward also incorporates lowest level reward)
Second highest 50 (reward also includes two lower level rewards)
Highest 10 (reward also incorporates all other levels’ rewards)

Remember: a lot of variety in physical perks will make fulfillment a lot harder, so don’t work with greater than maybe five separate varieties of physical perks– and even that is pushing it.

Novelty

If you are offering the identical thing as a thousand other places, no one will want to make a donation. Your widget needs to be lighter, hotter, cheaper, or more resilient. Your food should be reduced in calories or higher in nutrition or better-tasting. Or your professional services need to be delivered better or quicker, by friendlier and more skilled employees. And it should come with a money back guarantee your competition does not provide.

Cool factor

Is your product a work of art? Is it a new, gadget-like innovation? Then it may have a coolness aspect which you can construct your campaign around. But don’t be discouraged if it isn’t! These days, some of the most unforgettable advertising campaigns are based around a product the majority of people found uninspiring not ten years ago– insurance.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Crowdfunding Strategy

A few words on strategy:

Your Pitch Video Will Need to be Great

Use an expert to film it and develop the script. Are you unable to pay for experts? Then try schools, both pupils and educators. Your script doesn’t need to be verbatim but you should have points you wish to make and not babble. Write a script and stay with it. This is not the right time to ad-lib.

If You Have Tangible Evidence of Your Project, then Make Sure to Present it

Put it in your campaign video and on your campaign page. This means a picture of your health spa’s sign or a short video clip of your prototype robot. A number of people are naturally doubtful about crowdfunding. An image and a tangible thing will go a long way to assuring them that your project isn’t vaporware.

Manners Matter

Say please, thank you, and you’re welcome to everyone. Use these magic words in your pitch and in your communications with your donors, even in the cover letters you deliver with your perks (even internet perks can include a cover email message). You do not have to be servile, but you absolutely must be diplomatic.

In particular, be courteous when you want to use crowdfunding to start a business in a recession. After all, you have no idea what people may be going through.

Don’t be Greedy!

If you need $250,000 for your campaign, but you call for $1,000,000, that will not do anyone any good. You’ll just look like you want to leech off other peoples’ generosity. Instead, explain your expenses as plainly and transparently as possible.

And incidentally, if you misuse your funding, you may end up in an unpleasant meeting with your state’s attorney general. So be truthful!

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet. Save your money during the recession!

Your Stretch Goals Should be a Combination of Readily Achievable and Pie in the Sky

If you are crowdfunding for $100,000, a reasonably easy to attain stretch goal is $125,000. Pie in the sky going to be more like $300,000.

Make it abundantly clear what you will do with any added money if you are fortunate enough to get it. Will you buy the property your startup is in? Employ five more people? Replace your old equipment? Launch a brand-new market on another continent? Let your donors know what you are pursuing, so they can dream with you.

Be Gracious if Your Campaign Fails

Even if you use GoFundMe’s flexible funding option, you still may not receive enough to make an appreciable dent in your funding requirements. If you wanted $100,000 and you just got $500, your best option is to simply give back the money.

If you nearly made it with $95,000, then thank everybody who donated. And see what you can possibly do, although there’s a deficiency. And let them know what you are doing! Maybe you’ll purchase your building next year, or hire four people rather than five.

Once more; give your donors a stake in and an inside look at your startup. This will enable them to feel invested. And they may just opt to make up the deficiency themselves. Even if your crowdfunding campaign concludes does not mean a donor cannot send a check or buy extra goods or services. If that comes about, then politeness is essential.

Start a Business in a Recession with Crowdfunding Credit Suite

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Line up the Most Significant and Most Dependable Donors You Can Before You Start

Tell your mother or your brother in law or your former high school soccer coach to postpone on handing over their $1,000 or $10,000 donation till you start your campaign.

And ask them (nicely!) to release their donation at a very precise time. Which time? The initial or final day of the campaign (split the funds as well as you can. If the split isn’t around half and half, then request the larger chunk of donations to come on the very last day of the campaign.

Make the most of the novelty factor of the first day of the campaign, or the urgency factor of the very last. Just like a busker with a couple of her own bucks in her hat, to motivate people to toss in a few bucks for a song, you want your biggest donors to demonstrate to other donors that they believe in you and in your project. And you also want them to suggest your other donors that they had best get in on investing in your startup before the opportunity ends.

Share Your Campaign on Social Media

And ask your family and friends to do so, too. Tweet the link. Incorporate it as a Facebook status. Make it a Tumblr post or a snap on Snapchat or create a blog post about it. Ask your network to publicize the link.

The most effective technique to get your network to help you out is by assisting them in return. If your relative’s rock band is on Facebook, share their page, or tweet about it.

Be a collaborative member of your own personal network. And then your contacts will be more likely to help you out when you ask.

And rerun these social media postings. Considering time zones and our all-too hectic lives, people may not see your message the first time around. Mix it up and deliver it at odd hours (you can oftentimes use scheduling software such as HootSuite for this), including what is the middle of the night where you live.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Pay it Forward

Finally, if your small business crowdfunding campaign succeeds, think about donating a few dollars to others’ campaigns. Because your business goodwill and a good reputation are priceless. And you never know when the economic pendulum will swing the other way.

The post How to Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession – Amazing! appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Find Funding for Your Business as an Immigrant Entrepreneur

Immigrants face adversity in many areas. As an immigrant entrepreneur, one area may be that you struggle to find funding for your business.  However, you do have options.  Here’s what you need to know. 

As an Immigrant Entrepreneur, You Need Funding Options that Work

There are some special things to think about when it comes to funding a business as an immigrant entrepreneur. For example, loans may require you have a Social Security number. The good news is, qualifying for permanent residency means you can apply for a Social Security number

Another issue is the potential for a language barrier.  Also, a lack of business credit or time in business can be a huge barrier to getting the business funding you need. This is because it affects fundability

Immigrant Entrepreneur: Fundability

Fundability is the ability of your business to get funding.  It is the same whether you are from this country originally or not.  Still, building fundability could be a little more difficult for non-citizens. 

The foundation of fundability is in how your business is set up.  This is a first step you can take that should not be affected too much by immigrant status.  Your business has to be set up to be a fundable entity separate from you, the owner.  Here’s how you start.

immigrant entrepreneur Credit Suite

Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit.

Contact Information

The first step is to get your business its own contact information.  This should include phone number, address, and email address. That doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line.  You don’t even need a separate location.  You can run your business from wherever you want. 

In fact, you can get a business phone number and fax number that will work over the internet instead of phone lines.  In addition, you can use a virtual office for a business address

EIN

You also need an EIN for your business.  This is an identifying number for your business that works like a Social Security Number works for individuals.  The process for getting an EIN is a little different for immigrant entrepreneurs.  Specifically those without a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  You cannot apply online.  Instead, you have to fill out IRS Form SS-4.  You can do so by phone, fax, or mail.  This step is essential.  Furthermore, the entire process can take some time. Do it sooner rather than later.

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. It also offers some protection from liability. 

Business Bank Account

You need a dedicated business bank account.  There are a few reasons for this.  When you apply for funding as an immigrant entrepreneur, this will make your business look more like one that is standing on its own. It separates your business from you, the owner.

There’s more to it however.  There are several types of funding you cannot get without a business bank account.  Many lenders and credit cards want to see one with a minimum average balance.  In addition, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments.  Studies show consumers tend to spend more when they can pay by credit card.

Licenses

For a business to be legitimate it has to have all of the necessary licenses it needs to run.  If it doesn’t, warning bells are going to start ringing.  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. 

Website

These days, you do not exist if you do not have a website.  However, if it appears to be unprofessional it will not bode well for you with consumers or potential lenders. Take the time and money necessary to have your website professionally designed and ensure it works well.  Your business email should have the same URL as your business website. 

Of course, much more goes into fundability.  This is just the beginning.  However, setting your business up to be fundable on the front end will give it the best possible start. It will make finding business funding a smoother process in the long-term. 

Credit History

For loans, consistent, positive personal credit history is important. If you do not have that, you will likely need a cosigner.

However, business credit building is not dependent on citizenship or residency. Starter vendors that you can use to start the process aren’t looking for Social Security numbers.  This means, you can get your business credit profile started as an immigrant entrepreneur without a ton of hassle.  That is, if you set up your business in the way described above. 

How Do You Build a Business Credit History as an Immigrant Entrepreneur? 

The first step is to get a D-U-N-S number.  Then, you have to get accounts that will report to the business credit reporting agencies.  These are the same steps that apply to all entrepreneurs, not just immigrants. 

D-U-N-S Number

The D-U-N-S number is what D&B uses to get your company into their system.  A D-U-N-S number plus payment experiences leads to a PAYDEX score. Of course, any employees of an American business must have authorization to work there. That means either citizenship or having an immigration status allowing a person to work.

Starter Vendors

These are companies that will extend net terms on invoices without a credit check. They typically have other eligibility requirements to help reduce risk on their end.  These may include a number of things.  For example: 

  • A minimum average balance in a dedicated business bank account
  • A minimum amount of time in business
  • Minimum annual revenue

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Many require some combination of these and others.  

These types of vendors will issue invoices with net 30, net 60, or net 90 terms.  That just means you have either 30, 60, or 90 days to pay the balance.  Once you do, these starter vendors will report your payment to the business credit reporting agencies.  That includes Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax.  Most accounts either report to one or two of these agencies.  The more of these types of accounts you can get reporting, the faster your business credit will grow.  Then, you will be able to apply for more traditional business accounts.  Store cards, fleet cards, and just regular business credit cards will all become options open to your business. 

Immigrant Entrepreneur: Find the Funds

Once your business is set up to be fundable, and you have your D-U-N-S number, you can start to get funding.  There are a few options.  The ones that will work best in the beginning, before you have established business credit, are the ones that do not require a credit check.  These include venture capital, angel investors, and crowdfunding.

Venture Capital and Angel Investments

If you do not mind giving up some of the equity in your businesses, venture capital could be an option. Venture capitalists are usually looking for exceptional companies.  If your business is truly innovative you can try to get funds from Unshackled Ventures or One Way Ventures. 

Angel investing can be formal, using and organizations set up specifically for that purpose.  Alternatively, it can be informal funding from family and friends. Gust.com can be a great place to look for this type of financing as an immigrant entrepreneur.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can be another good way to get funding.  Remember, it’s not a guarantee however. Kickstarter allows permanent residents of several countries to run campaigns on its platform. They tend to be countries in North America, Europe, and Oceania. In Asia, currently the only eligible countries are Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Indiegogo is another option.  The list of eligible countries is similar, but they also have an option for China. If your business is creative, consider Patreon. It’s unclear where they stand on citizenship, so you’ll have to directly contact someone there to get the word on your eligibility.

There are two different types of crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding.  For equity crowdfunding, you will be offering equity in your business in return for funds.  With rewards -based crowdfunding, you offer some other type of incentive.  It could be anything from a sample product to a thank you card.   

Immigrant Entrepreneur: Alternative Financing

Of course, there is no guarantee you will be able to meet all of your financial needs through crowdfunding, venture capital, angel investors, or any combination of those options.  It is highly likely you will need something else.  Traditional loans may be hard early on, especially if your credit isn’t great.  Yet, there are other options. 

Credit Line Hybrid

A credit line hybrid allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.  

You do need decent personal credit.  However, it doesn’t have to be as high as a traditional lender would require.  It should be at least 680.  You can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments either.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries.  You should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s best if you have established business credit and personal credit. 

If you do not meet the other requirements, it’s okay. 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 to tap into their credit to access funding. 

Benefits of a Credit Line Hybrid

Using a credit line hybrid has a lot of benefits.  First, it is unsecured, meaning you do not have to have any collateral to put up.  Next, the funding is “no-doc.”  That means you don’t have to provide any bank statements or financials.  

Not only that, but approval is typically up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Often, you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put the savings back into your business.

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The best part is you can use this type of financing to help build your business credit.

Alternative Lenders

There are some alternative lenders that work better for immigrant entrepreneurs than others.  For example, Lending Club offers business loans and does not appear to check citizenship or status. There is also Stilt.  They only offer personal loans. But, they specialize in immigrant borrowers and borrowers holding visas. Personal loans aren’t the best way to fund a business, but if you need to bridge a gap left from other funding types, it could work.

Minimal eligibility criteria for a Stilt loan is you must have a physical presence in the United States. You also have to have an American bank account in your name, with an American address. If you have already set your business up to be fundable, these things are taken care of.   You do not have to have a Social Security number to qualify.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Grants

There are grants available to immigrant entrepreneurs.  One great source to help find them is Grant Watch.  It has a search section devoted strictly to immigrants.  

Other good sources to try are the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Wilson-Fish program.  

The Wilson-Fish alternative model is currently only available in 12 states and one single county.  They include: 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • and San Diego County, CA 

These programs concentrate on early employment and immigrant self-sufficiency. 

Immigrants who are members of a minority have more options. This includes women and Latinx entrepreneurs. They can qualify for grants and loans from the Minority Business Development AgencyGrants.gov is also a good source.

There is Funding Available for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

As an immigrant entrepreneur, you have options.  While there are definitely challenges that are unique to you when looking for business funding, there is hope.  Anyone can build fundability and business credit, and once you have that, funding is a breeze.  Until then, these options can help you get started.

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What Are Meta Tags?

Let’s talk about meta tags — what they are, why they matter, and how to do them better. First things first — what made you click on this article to read it? Maybe the title caught your eye, or perhaps it was the short blurb you saw. You might have clicked simply because this article …

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How to Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession – Amazing!

The Fantastic Way to Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession and Get the Financing You Need – Even if the Economy Tanks

Crowdfunding has become all the rage and it’s not surprising. It’s (generally) free money which you do not have to repay. And you can get these funds without needing to give up any ownership or control over your small business. Additionally it can help you to determine the popularity of an idea or a prototype or invention. Because there is no sense in continuing if there is no interest in your design. Still, a lot of entrepreneurs can use crowdfunding to start a business in a recession.

You will need to make a lot of choices before you even launch a startup crowdfunding campaign. And this goes double in an economic downturn.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: How Much?

Your very first decision should be: just how much do I need to crowdfund? If you need $1 million, you are going to need to crowdfund more than that. Why? Because that is how crowdfunding platforms make their money– they take a percentage of any money you can raise. Thus, you will need to take that into consideration. Crowdfunding percent charges vary from 4% to 10%.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

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Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Will I Succeed?

Another decision has to do with how successful you think your campaign will be. If you are extremely confident that you will be 100% funded at the end of your campaign, then traditional funding is for you. If you are not sure, then try GoFundMe’s flexible funding.

With flexible funding, you, the campaign runner, can keep your donations even if your campaign falls short. However, for this benefit, you will have to pay a higher fee to GoFundMe. Other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter don’t offer this option.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: What Should I Offer for Perks?

Yes, you will have to offer perks to your donors. Perks can take many forms– buttons, tees, book marks – every one of those are possible tangible perks. Consider a perk format which can sync with your business. If you sell homemade jam, then perhaps create a unique flavor just for the campaign, and offer bigger and bigger-sized jars depending on donation amount.

If you are a horseback riding stable, offer a complimentary lesson or a postcard with a favorite horse’s image on it, or something like that. Does your startup flip houses? Then consider offering a coupon to a neighborhood home supply company (work with them beforehand, of course) or the like.

Pro Tip on Perks

Physical perks are a pain! A lot of people love them, and they will stand out. However, you also have to ship physical perks. International shipping is extremely expensive, even for small items. So if you offer physical perks, specify whether you will allow international donor addresses.

Even if everything has to be shipped in the US, you are still left with working with a data base of names and addresses (a few of which might have misprints or be incomplete) and usually a range of available perks. Did Jane want the stuffed teddy bear or the book mark? Did Alan want the pennant or the tee shirt? Do Jane and Alan live at the same address so perhaps you could mail their perks out together? What if a perk is lost or broken in the mail? And what if it injures someone?

Because of this, if you can do it, try for digital perks. For a house flipping startup, you might record video footage about home design or repair. For a pastry shop, you could offer downloads of recipes. And for a health club, maybe offer digital coupons for a free month of membership.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet. Save your money during the recession!

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Your Campaign

Your campaign’s success is far from assured. However, you can capitalize on a few proven approaches. First off consider these four feelings that you need to engender in donors. Use one or more of them as the focal point of your campaign as a starting point.

Urgency

The first two and last two days of a crowdfunding campaign are pretty much always the days with the biggest payoffs. Often, lengthening the campaign doesn’t make you significantly more money. So why not open a campaign for only a week? Don’t let donors feel they can contribute any old time they feel like it.

Scarcity

If you have thousands of something or other to supply as a perk, it will not be as desirable. If you only have a few copies of a specific perk, that will instill a feeling in some potential donors that they just have to have it. Do this with your larger donation levels only. Therefore, you might want to establish a perk/donation level system similar to this:

Donation Level Number of Perks
Lowest 1,000
Second lowest 500 (reward also incorporates lowest level reward)
Second highest 50 (reward also includes two lower level rewards)
Highest 10 (reward also incorporates all other levels’ rewards)

Remember: a lot of variety in physical perks will make fulfillment a lot harder, so don’t work with greater than maybe five separate varieties of physical perks– and even that is pushing it.

Novelty

If you are offering the identical thing as a thousand other places, no one will want to make a donation. Your widget needs to be lighter, hotter, cheaper, or more resilient. Your food should be reduced in calories or higher in nutrition or better-tasting. Or your professional services need to be delivered better or quicker, by friendlier and more skilled employees. And it should come with a money back guarantee your competition does not provide.

Cool factor

Is your product a work of art? Is it a new, gadget-like innovation? Then it may have a coolness aspect which you can construct your campaign around. But don’t be discouraged if it isn’t! These days, some of the most unforgettable advertising campaigns are based around a product the majority of people found uninspiring not ten years ago– insurance.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Crowdfunding Strategy

A few words on strategy:

Your Pitch Video Will Need to be Great

Use an expert to film it and develop the script. Are you unable to pay for experts? Then try schools, both pupils and educators. Your script doesn’t need to be verbatim but you should have points you wish to make and not babble. Write a script and stay with it. This is not the right time to ad-lib.

If You Have Tangible Evidence of Your Project, then Make Sure to Present it

Put it in your campaign video and on your campaign page. This means a picture of your health spa’s sign or a short video clip of your prototype robot. A number of people are naturally doubtful about crowdfunding. An image and a tangible thing will go a long way to assuring them that your project isn’t vaporware.

Manners Matter

Say please, thank you, and you’re welcome to everyone. Use these magic words in your pitch and in your communications with your donors, even in the cover letters you deliver with your perks (even internet perks can include a cover email message). You do not have to be servile, but you absolutely must be diplomatic.

In particular, be courteous when you want to use crowdfunding to start a business in a recession. After all, you have no idea what people may be going through.

Don’t be Greedy!

If you need $250,000 for your campaign, but you call for $1,000,000, that will not do anyone any good. You’ll just look like you want to leech off other peoples’ generosity. Instead, explain your expenses as plainly and transparently as possible.

And incidentally, if you misuse your funding, you may end up in an unpleasant meeting with your state’s attorney general. So be truthful!

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Discover our business credit and finance guide, jam-packed with new ways to finance your business without emptying your wallet. Save your money during the recession!

Your Stretch Goals Should be a Combination of Readily Achievable and Pie in the Sky

If you are crowdfunding for $100,000, a reasonably easy to attain stretch goal is $125,000. Pie in the sky going to be more like $300,000.

Make it abundantly clear what you will do with any added money if you are fortunate enough to get it. Will you buy the property your startup is in? Employ five more people? Replace your old equipment? Launch a brand-new market on another continent? Let your donors know what you are pursuing, so they can dream with you.

Be Gracious if Your Campaign Fails

Even if you use GoFundMe’s flexible funding option, you still may not receive enough to make an appreciable dent in your funding requirements. If you wanted $100,000 and you just got $500, your best option is to simply give back the money.

If you nearly made it with $95,000, then thank everybody who donated. And see what you can possibly do, although there’s a deficiency. And let them know what you are doing! Maybe you’ll purchase your building next year, or hire four people rather than five.

Once more; give your donors a stake in and an inside look at your startup. This will enable them to feel invested. And they may just opt to make up the deficiency themselves. Even if your crowdfunding campaign concludes does not mean a donor cannot send a check or buy extra goods or services. If that comes about, then politeness is essential.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession

Line up the Most Significant and Most Dependable Donors You Can Before You Start

Tell your mother or your brother in law or your former high school soccer coach to postpone on handing over their $1,000 or $10,000 donation till you start your campaign.

And ask them (nicely!) to release their donation at a very precise time. Which time? The initial or final day of the campaign (split the funds as well as you can. If the split isn’t around half and half, then request the larger chunk of donations to come on the very last day of the campaign.

Make the most of the novelty factor of the first day of the campaign, or the urgency factor of the very last. Just like a busker with a couple of her own bucks in her hat, to motivate people to toss in a few bucks for a song, you want your biggest donors to demonstrate to other donors that they believe in you and in your project. And you also want them to suggest your other donors that they had best get in on investing in your startup before the opportunity ends.

Share Your Campaign on Social Media

And ask your family and friends to do so, too. Tweet the link. Incorporate it as a Facebook status. Make it a Tumblr post or a snap on Snapchat or create a blog post about it. Ask your network to publicize the link.

The most effective technique to get your network to help you out is by assisting them in return. If your relative’s rock band is on Facebook, share their page, or tweet about it.

Be a collaborative member of your own personal network. And then your contacts will be more likely to help you out when you ask.

And rerun these social media postings. Considering time zones and our all-too hectic lives, people may not see your message the first time around. Mix it up and deliver it at odd hours (you can oftentimes use scheduling software such as HootSuite for this), including what is the middle of the night where you live.

Use Crowdfunding to Start a Business in a Recession: Pay it Forward

Finally, if your small business crowdfunding campaign succeeds, think about donating a few dollars to others’ campaigns. Because your business goodwill and a good reputation are priceless. And you never know when the economic pendulum will swing the other way.

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Sweeps (YC W20) Is Hiring a Senior Software Engineer

Article URL: https://sweeps.ai/senior-software-engineer.pdf

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25071823

Points: 1

# Comments: 0

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Disney’s Stream Is Floating an Awfully Big Ship

In a year when theme park revenue slid 37% and movie division revenue fell 13%, total company revenue came down only 6%, helped by a booming reception for the company’s streaming services.

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