Day: November 18, 2020

Legal Drugs Are Fashionable—and Treacherous for Children

When kids have to be put in foster care, parental substance abuse is usually the underlying reason.

In Defense of Unpopular Clients—and Liberty

Attacks on Trump’s lawyers echo those against us for representing Guantanamo detainees. Both are wrong.

Ubersuggest 8.0: The Ultimate Competitor Analysis Tool

You may have noticed some small changes to Ubersuggest recently, but now it is time for another major release.

In the last few months, you have seen the application get faster, we are slowly (but surely) working on increasing data quality, and we have even made multiple updates to our Chrome Extension.

But today, we are announcing a new feature that will make finding lucrative keywords even easier.

So, what is it?

It’s a competitor analysis report!

An easier way to find keywords

I want you to head to Ubersuggest and type in the name of one of your competitors.

Ideally, you’ll add a popular one. The more popular the competitor the more keywords it will show you.

If you don’t know of a competitor, just perform a Google search for any keyword that you are trying to rank for and grab the top site.

Or you could just use “neilpatel.com” to see how it works.

At this point, you should see a report that looks something like this.

I want you to go to the sidebar and click on “competitors.”

From there you should see a report that looks something like this.

The top part of the report shows your main competitors in a graph.

You can easily see who is getting more traffic (keep in mind subdomains are counted as separate sites).

And, if you want, you can click on the “more domains” drop-down and unselect some of the competitors or even add more that may not be listed.

As you scroll down you’ll also see a long table.

In the table, you’ll see the competitor domain, the number of common keywords you rank for, keyword gaps (the keywords they rank for that you don’t rank for – this is your main opportunity), their estimated traffic, and the number of backlinks that you have.

So, let’s dive into the keywords.

Common keywords and keywords gap

Within the table you can drill down on the common keywords. All you have to do is click the “view all” button under that table column and you’ll see something like this.

It breaks down the common keywords that both you and your competition are ranking for.

This is useful because it shows you which keywords you are focusing on that they may also be focusing on.

When drilling down on this table, pay attention to volume, position, estimated visits, and CPC.

  • Volume tells you how many times a keyword is searched.
  • Position tells you where your competition is ranking on Google.
  • Estimated visits breaks down roughly how much traffic they get from that keyword.
  • CPC tells you how expensive a keyword is if you had to pay for it through advertising.

Generally, you want to make sure you rank higher than your competition for keywords with high volume and high CPC. Ideally, they need both. That way you know a keyword can not only drive traffic but also sales.

And my favorite part about this report is the keywords gap. This shows you the keywords that your competition ranks for that you don’t.

To see those keywords, you just have to click on “view all” and you’ll see a list.

Again, you’ll want to pay attention to the same metrics and you’ll want to look for keywords that have a high volume and high CPC.

It means those keywords drive traffic and typically drive conversions as well.

I highly recommend that you go through all of the keywords that each of your competitors rank for that you don’t.

Within the table just keep clicking the “next 10” button to keep seeing more keywords.

Or you can just click “export to CSV” if you want to download all of the keywords.

Now head to Ubersuggest and give it a try to find more keyword opportunities.

So, what’s next?

Well, hopefully you’ll start using the Competitors report because it will give you more keywords.

But over the next few months you’ll see some big changes that will make all of the reports more useful.

  • More accurate data – from traffic estimations to keyword volume, you’ll start seeing better estimations that are much closer to people’s actual traffic. Our new estimation formulas take much more data into account, so we are able to come up with better data for you.
  • More link data – over the next few months you’ll see a much more robust link dataset as we are working to expand our database. It will be much more comparable to competing products and the link data will be indexed much faster. So, when you build new links or lose new links, we will pick it up faster.
  • More accurate metrics – from domain authority to keyword difficulty scores, the data will also be more accurate on that end so you can make better-informed decisions.
  • Better filtering of keywords – within Ubersuggest and even other SEO tools, sometimes you see keyword recommendations that don’t make sense. We have new logic that is coming out soon that will remove most of these irrelevant keywords so you can focus your efforts going after terms that don’t just drive more traffic, but they also drive sales.

Conclusion

You’ll see big improvements in the accuracy of our data by the end of the year if not in January, worst-case scenario.

We are already starting to slowly roll out the changes over the next few weeks and it will continue until the end of January.

And after that we even have a few cool new features coming out that you haven’t seen on any competing tools yet, which will help you get more SEO traffic faster. 😉

So, what are you waiting for? Go give Ubersuggest a try.

What do you think about the new feature?

The post Ubersuggest 8.0: The Ultimate Competitor Analysis Tool appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Create an E-Commerce Business Plan

If you ever plan on finding investors, partners, or employees for your e-commerce startup, you’ll need to know how to create a business plan. A lot of people make this process out to be more complicated than it needs to be. When you do it right, creating a business plan doesn’t have to be so difficult.

In this guide, I’m breaking down step-by-step everything you need to know about creating a powerful e-commerce business plan.

What is an E-Commerce Business Plan?

Have you ever thought about something you wanted to accomplish in your business? You’d likely jot down a few lines discussing strategies, costs, and methods behind the steps you would take to achieve those goals.

If you’ve ever done that, you’ve created a basic business plan, and there isn’t too much more to it than that. An e-commerce business plan is a strategy for how your business will work, how you’ll fund it, who your audience will be, and how you plan to succeed.

Understanding how to create a business plan is key. It requires research, understanding your audience, budgeting, and more.

The overall key to writing a business plan is to create something comprehensive enough, so you never have to wonder what step is coming next. As you navigate the sometimes challenging process of starting an e-commerce business, don’t leave anything to chance.

When you’re struggling or having a hard time envisioning the next step, you don’t have to worry because your business plan thoroughly outlines everything you’re going to do, when you’ll do it, and how much it’ll cost.

Another aspect of business plan writing is looking for investors or partners. You need to pitch your e-commerce business in a way that is easy to understand. Investors aren’t going to jump aboard something that lacks vision or appears unorganized.

Having a thorough business plan that gets straight to the point will show investors that you know what you’re doing and you have a concrete strategy for success.

How is an E-Commerce Business Plan Different From Other Kinds?

The way e-commerce businesses reach their customers is much different. At a brick and mortar store, for example, foot or vehicle traffic will contribute to a lot of free advertising for the business.

E-commerce stores, on the other hand, can very easily get buried in the SERPs, never to be seen by anyone if you don’t know how to get the word out. You need to keep these types of things in mind when putting together your business plan.

As for research and development of your business plan, standard businesses need to factor in local licenses, ordinances, building codes, and other factors that may influence where and how they can conduct business.

Luckily, e-commerce doesn’t have to worry as much about that, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore it either. It’s your responsibility to understand any restrictions or requirements that may prevent you from sourcing and selling your products.

Why E-Commerce Business Plans Are Important

Understanding how to create a business plan means nothing if you can’t see the importance behind it. While I believe there are more important aspects of starting a successful business, every e-commerce venture should have a stable foundation, beginning with a business plan.

Business Plan = GPS

You’re the driver of this business, but you’ll end up going in circles, wasting time and money, if you don’t know where you’re going. Having a solid business plan guides you through the steps of starting and growing a business. Think of the plan as the GPS of your business. If you ever get lost, you can fall back on your original plan.

It Helps You Generate Ideas

This process is much easier than it seems. It might seem like this looming dark cloud of horror, but once you dive in, the juices will start flowing, and you’ll find out that you probably have a lot of great ideas. This may be the first project of your new venture, so business plan templates and how-to guides can help.

It Can Help You Understand the Market

Getting your audience right is the most important aspect of an e-commerce business. If you’re trying to reach everyone, you’ll reach no one. A big part of your business plan needs to be the development of a customer avatar. This avatar is your perfect customer. They’re the ones that buy everything you sell because they love you and your brand.

It Helps with Funding

Whether you’re looking for funding or business partners, you’ll need a business plan. Having a strong strategy shows investors that you’re confident in what you’re doing, you understand the business, and investing with you is a smart choice for them.

It’s a Great Way to Keep Track of Accomplishments

What better way to look back and see everything you’ve dreamed of come to life? You can map out the next few years in a business plan and look back as everything comes together, and keep track of everything you’ve accomplished. A business plan acts as a “to-do” list for your new venture.

What Does an E-Commerce Business Plan Look Like?

If you’re wondering what a business plan should include, it might look a little different than you originally thought. The days of massive 15-page business plans are over; you don’t need a super complicated plan to find investors and sell your products.

Lean business plans are growing in popularity. This e-commerce business plan involves a one-page “pitch” of your business. You’ll document the problem you’re solving, your unique solution, your market, the competition, your team, and a little information about your company culture.

Part 1: Executive Summary

how to write a business plan executive summary

Think of an Executive Summary as an overview of your company’s goals and objectives. If you had to hand someone a piece of paper explaining as much about your business in 250 words or less, what would you say?

It should include information such as:

  • A description of your products and what you sell
  • Your goals as an e-commerce provider
  • Identifying your target audience
  • Explanation of your competition and how you stack up
  • Overall growth potential
  • Funding requirements

While you’re not going in-depth in any one area here, this is the most important aspect of the business plan because it’s your overview. When people think of your e-commerce brand, this is what they’ll think.

Part 2: Description of the Company

Who are you, what is your experience, and why should you have the right to sell products to other people?

The company’s description is a lot less about what you want it to “be like” and more of what “you’re like.” You’re pitching yourself, your experience, and your ability here.

A great business example here might be:

how to write a business plan description

In this description, we covered what we’re selling and provide the credentials of the owner, which will create confidence in potential investors and partners.

Step 3: Market and Industry Research

If you don’t understand your audience or the industry you’re working in, you’re doomed. Researching the market is critical, and there’s a big difference between standard business and e-commerce here.

When you’re researching the market for a retail store, you’re very limited in who your audience is, so it’s a bit more cut and dry.

As for e-commerce, the world is your audience, but you need to narrow it down to a specific demographic to cater to your products and marketing to those people.

Ask questions like:

  • What problems do my customers have?
  • How can I solve these problems?
  • What products solve those problems?
  • When do people shop for these products?
  • How often do they purchase them?

Step 4: Operations Plans

Forget learning how to create a business plan; we all go into business to profit, right? Having an operations plan helps ensure you remain profitable by keeping all your costs in line. This section of the business plan discusses managing, staffing, preparing products, fulfilling orders, inventory management, customer service, and more.

This part is where you get to start outlining what a typical day will look like in your business. How will it run, how will people convert, and how will you fulfill those orders?

Start thinking about things such as:

  • What equipment and supplies do I need?
  • What is the chain of command; who is in charge?
  • Do I need to develop products, or am I reselling others?
  • What are my staffing needs?
  • Will my operations change or remain the same as I grow?

Make sure you keep your industry, market, and target audience in mind as you prepare your operations plan. You don’t want to venture off in the wrong direction as you dive deeper into it.

Step 5: Marketing Plans

It’s a no-brainer that you’ll have to market your business if you want to have success, but you need a plan. In e-commerce, you have a few different options, and the choices you make will determine a lot.

You need to highlight the methods you plan on using so partners and investors can see that you have a clear path to success. Some of your choices may be:

  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
  • SEO/Content Marketing
  • Guest Posting
  • Social Media

I recommend using a combination of all of these because they each have upsides and downsides. For example, SEO is a relatively low cost to get started, but it takes time, and if you don’t possess the knowledge yourself, you’ll have to hire an agency to do it for you.

PPC can be costly if you don’t know what you’re doing, but the results can come quickly because you’re leapfrogging over a lot of the competition.

Regardless of what marketing methods you choose for your e-commerce business plan, you need to highlight them and explain how you plan to use them.

Step 6: Costs and Revenue Predictions

Now you need to wrap up your business plan and put a nice bow on top. Based on everything you’ve included so far in your business plan, what are your costs versus your revenue? Keep in mind that first-year revenues aren’t always extravagant, but you need the potential to gain more revenue in the future.

As long as investors and partners see that you have the growth potential, they won’t worry too much about first-year losses. The goal should be to keep your costs as low as possible and your revenue as high as possible (makes sense, right?).

Predict the total cost of operation in your business in the first year or two and include that in the plan. Then, anticipate the revenue prediction as well and include that.

If you’ve followed everything in this guide, there should be a clear path that brings you to those numbers. You should know how much everything will cost to get started and operate the business for a year.

Based on your market and what your competition is doing, that’s where you get your first-year revenue predictions.

Make it transparent and keep it simple.

What Do I Do With an E-Commerce Business Plan?

Now that you know how to create a business plan, what are your next steps? What do you plan to do with the business plan? Most people will use their business plan to find investors, partners, and employees when they’re getting started.

If you’re thinking about pitching to investors, you’ll want to choose carefully because not all investors are the right choice for you. Even if someone is willing to give you what you ask, they might not be the right fit, and taking their money will lead you down the wrong path.

First, you want to look at an investor’s expertise. When they have experience in a certain area, it makes it easier for them to understand your potential, and they can offer guidance to help you succeed.

Second, in what stage is your business? Different investors specialize in different stages. Some invest in pre-seed, while others won’t even hear your pitch until you have revenue.

Third, how much do you think you need? What you think you need and what you need are two different things.

Lastly, how do you plan on involving your investors? Some investors will back you financially and offer nothing more, while others will demand consistent financial updates and reports while offering guidance and assistance. You need to determine how involved you want your investor to be in your operations.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to create a business plan, the rest is up to you. Remember that gathering information and understanding something is important, but it’s nothing if you don’t implement what you learn. Take the steps outlined in this guide and put them to work.

If this seems a little daunting, we have plenty of resources to help you. Your business plan doesn’t need to be this elaborate essay; you can complete it in a day with the right strategy.

What do you think is the most important part of creating a solid business plan?

The post How to Create an E-Commerce Business Plan appeared first on Neil Patel.

Top 5 Indiana Pacers Forums, Discussions and Message Boards You Must Follow in 2020

Top 5 Indiana Pacers Forums Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Indiana Pacers Forums TalkBasket.net » Indiana Pacers SportsTwo.Com » Indiana Pacers Pacers Digest » Indiana Pacers Hoop Ball Forums » Indiana Pacers Submit Blog Do you want more traffic, leads, and sales? Submit your blog below if you want to grow your traffic and revenue. […]

The post Top 5 Indiana Pacers Forums, Discussions and Message Boards You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Top 35 Tween Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 35 Tween Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Tween Podcasts Tweens-NOT-Kidz Mostly Mindful for Teens and Tweens Tween Life Tween to Teen Tween Talk The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel Story Time | Bedtime fm Tweens with no means Mamas and Coffee ~ LIVE Tween Magazine Tween talk Yass Tween! Tweens Talk Touchdowns We […]

The post Top 35 Tween Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession

Get a business credit report in a recession and stay on top of your scores.

Here’s How to Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession

You got this: we show you exactly how to get your business credit report in a recession.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Recession Funding

In a recession, inevitably banks and other credit issuers get more conservative. So it pays to get your business credit report in a recession so you can pounce on any mistakes immediately.

Your best bet as a company owner is to stay on top of every business credit report from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian.

There are three big credit reporting agencies for companies and you really should check all three of them frequently. This is because they use moderately different yardsticks. Hence moving the needle for one can move the needle for both of the others. Although maybe not as much.

Do not permit your business credit scores slide, as you have to catch any mistakes as fast as you can. Plus, you need to identify anything which is dragging your scores down. And then take remedial measures. You can get a business credit report in a recession easily and stay on top of all three scores by following a few straightforward steps.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: D&B (PAYDEX) Business Credit Report

Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your company can end up being one of the primary reasons that your business receives credit in any manner.

A Dun & Bradstreet Report (also known as a D&B Report) is a database-generated report. The business services giant produces such a report in order to assist its clients in making decisions regarding new credit applications.

The primary reason for a client using this kind of a report is to engage in credit risk monitoring of vendors, suppliers, and business partners. This helps companies make informed business credit determinations and avoid bad debt.

Dun & Bradstreet takes several factors into account in generating such a report. These include a predictor of payment delinquency; how financially stressed a company is compared to comparable businesses; an evaluation of supplier risk; credit limit recommendation; D&B rating; and PAYDEX score. Let’s consider all these factors in turn.

Delinquency Predictor

Dun & Bradstreet uses predictive models to ascertain how likely a company is to be late with its payments. Predictive scoring is a means of using historical information to attempt to predict future outcomes. It entails identifying the risks inherent in a future decision. It does this by examining the relationship between historical information and the future event.

This represents an objective and statistically derived counterpart to subjective and intuitive assessments. Such scoring allows a business to rank and order accounts based upon the probability of an event occurring, such as delinquent payments. However, note that Predictive Scoring only represents a statistical probability, and not a guarantee.

PAYDEX Score

A PAYDEX Score is Dun & Bradstreet’s proprietary dollar-weighted numerical indicator of how a firm has paid its bills over the past year. The score is based upon trade experiences reported to Dun & Bradstreet by various vendors. In addition, the D&B PAYDEX Score ranges from 1 to 100; higher scores indicate a better payment performance.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Monitoring PAYDEX

D & B offers Credit Signal, which is a means to keep track of your credit score by having the business credit report come immediately to you, for a cost. You may discover the expense is well worth it in order to avoid the frustrations that can emerge from letting this score slip. And you will not need to produce and handle the organizing and reminders you might need to stay up to date with if you don’t use it.

Business Credit Report in a Recession Credit Suite

Alternatives to Credit Signal

Don’t wish to make use of Credit Signal? Not a problem, as you can obtain your PAYDEX report through D & B and, if need be, you can get in touch with their Customer Service department (this department exists as a section of Dun & Bradstreet itself).

In addition, in order to review your PAYDEX report, check out what D & B provides, which is a specimen report and even some higher level tips in the way to analyze it.

D&B Data

Any report is only as good as the data it comes from. Dun & Bradstreet’s database contains over 250 million firms spanning the globe, which includes around 120 million active companies and about 130 million businesses which are out of business but kept for historical purposes.

D&B constantly gathers data and works to improve its analyses to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy possible.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Equifax Business Credit Report

Equifax, one of the large credit reporting bureaus, furnishes a risk monitoring service which is more convenient as it allows for a business credit report to come directly to you.

If you don’t want to purchase continuing reports, you can instead order your company’s Equifax report.

Additionally, if you have to question your small business’s Equifax report, you can do so by following the information on their website.

You can learn how to go over your Equifax report by checking out a specimen of their reports.

Improve Your Equifax Report

Now that you know what enters into it, you can see that some of the more crucial pieces of information Equifax looks into are public records, credit usage, and how you take care of your financial and nonfinancial accounts.

Start getting rid of your debts as quickly as possible and not going delinquent. And keep your credit utilization within reason. Less than 30% of your overall available credit is best. And start staying away from overdue payments. Then you should have the ability to build up your Equifax score.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Experian Business Credit Report

Experian, one more big credit reporting firm, also offers a way having their business credit report sent to you for a fee. As a result you can keep an eye on your Experian small business credit score here and the setup is simple.

However, if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), then you can order a single Experian report for your firm on their site.

Business Credit Report Score Improvement Tips

Experian provides a handy list of ways to improve your own, specific report.

You can get your company’s real Experian report and can dispute any errors on your company’s Experian report by following the directions on their website.

Now that you know what goes into it, you can see what some of the more important pieces of data Experian looks into are. These include payment history and credit utilization. And they also include the amount of time in business. Or at least they show the amount of time your company has had an Experian listing.

Beyond anything else, improving your payment history will increase your Experian credit scores.

Keep your credit utilization within reason. So this is because less than 30% of your total available credit is best. Clear your debts as quickly as you are able to. And don’t go delinquent. Also, avoid any late payments. Then, you should be able to improve your Experian score over time.

Likewise, if there are any problems or matters of contention, you can question any errors on your business’s Experian report if you follow the directions on their web site.

Find out about assessing your Experian report by assessing a sample Experian company credit report.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Monitoring Any Business Credit Report For Less

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any errors ASAP. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the details, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs.

At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.

Update Your Record

Update the details if there are inaccuracies or the data is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. So for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any problems in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs typically want you to dispute in a particular way.

Get your business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.

Disputes

Disputing credit report mistakes generally means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any evidence of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the originals. Always send copies and keep the original copies.

Fixing credit report errors also means you specifically itemize any charges you dispute. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

Dispute your or your small business’s Equifax report by following the instructions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.

You can dispute errors on your or your business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.

And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service contact number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Takeaways for How to Get a Business Credit Report

At times, it pays to hand over a few dollars to ensure you get a business credit report in a recession consistently. It’s a lot less troublesome than to have to remember to do this.

And you’ll probably look at these reports more thoroughly, as they come at a price tag.

Continue track and make use of the tools that these credit reporting companies provide, and make your life simpler. After all; you’ve already got enough on your plate.

Because of recent data breaches, there are even more reasons to assess your business and personal credit reports and be vigilant about any errors you find. In a recession, you need the highest business credit scores you can get. When you get a business credit report in a recession, you’re doing just that.

The post Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Fund a Startup Business No Matter What

What do you need to know about how to fund a startup business? First, there is more than one way to do it!  It’s true. Regardless of what is happening around you, in most cases you can fund a startup business in some way.  It may very well take longer depending on your exact situation, but it is almost always possible. 

You Can Fund a Startup Business No Matter What is Going On

Fund a Startup Biz Credit SuiteThe thing is, virtually everyone assumes if they cannot get a business loan, they can’t fund a startup business.  That really isn’t true. There are all kinds of options for funding. Loans are only one of them. Furthermore, there are probably many more types of loans than you think. We put together a list of some of the most common, and less common, ways to fund a startup business in any situation. 

Fund a Startup Business: Traditional Loans

These are the loans that you go to the bank to get.  With a traditional loan, you are almost always going to have to give a personal guarantee.  This means they will check your personal credit.  If it’s not great, you are probably out of luck. That is where a lot of people stop, thinking they have hit a brick wall.

There are ways over that wall however.

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

Fund a Startup Business: SBA Loans

SBA loans are traditional bank loans.  However, they have a guarantee from the federal government. The Small Business Administration works with lenders to offer small businesses funding solutions that they may not be able to get based on their own credit history. Because of the government guarantee, lenders are able to be a little less strict on personal credit score requirements. 

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

Fund a Startup Business: Private Loans

Private business loans come from companies other than banks.  These companies are sometimes called alternative lenders.  Many have popped up in the past decade as entrepreneurship has become more common.  The need for a financing option from somewhere other than traditional banks has spurred this growth. 

There are a few benefits to using private business loans over traditional loans.  The first is that they often have more flexible credit score minimums.  They still rely on your personal credit. Yet, they will often accept a score much lower than what traditional lenders require. Another benefit is that they will sometimes report to the business credit reporting agencies.  That helps build or improve business credit. 

The tradeoff is that private business loans typically have higher interest rates and less favorable terms.  Still, the ability to get funding and the potential increase in business credit score can make it well worth the cost. 

Examples of Private Lenders

The thing about private lenders is, you almost always have a time in business requirement. However, it can be as low as one year, even 6 months in some cases.  

BlueVine

The minimum loan amount available from BlueVine is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000. Annual revenue must be $120,000 or more and the borrower must be in business for at least 6 months. Personal credit score has to be at least 600. It is also important to know that BlueVine does not offer a line of credit in all states. 

OnDeck

With OnDeck, applying for financing is quick and easy. Apply online, and you will receive your decision once application processing is complete. Loan funds will go directly to your bank account. The minimum loan amount is $5,000 and the maximum is $500,000.

There is a personal credit score requirement of 600 or more.  Also, you must be in business for at least one year. There is an annual revenue requirement of at least $100,000 as well. In addition, there can be no bankruptcy on file in the past 2 years and no unresolved liens or judgements. 

Fund a Startup Business: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding sites allow you to pitch your business to thousands of micro investors. Anyone who wants a piece of the action can buy in. 

Investors pledge amounts ranging from as low as $5 to as high as they want. They may give $5, $80, $150, or even over $500. As a general rule, they can give as much or as little as they want.

Though not always necessary, most business owners offer rewards for investment. Typically, this comes in the form of the product the business will be selling. Different levels of giving result in different rewards. For example, a $50 gift may get you product A, while a $100 gift will get you an upgraded version of product A.

The two most common crowdfunding platforms are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. 

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

Fund a Startup Business: Angel Investors

These investors are usually only in for a one-time deal. Many choose to spread their risk out over many people and many businesses to be certain they get a safe return on their investment.

Angels tend to be a lot more informal than most types of funding. They can be people you know. Or they can be people you connect with through networking or other means. 

Angels are not covered by the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) standards for accredited investors. But a lot of them are accredited investors anyway. 

To become an accredited investor, an person has to have a minimal net worth of $1 million, and an annual income of $200,000.

There are a number of angels who aren’t millionaires. They could be friends or colleagues with home equity, or local professionals who are looking to invest. 

How Do You Find Angel Investors?

The best way to find these kinds of investors is to ask. You can also try an angel investors website or network. Try Gust, which used to be called Angel Soft. They keep a database of investors, companies, and programs. Startups can also search for business plan competitions and more.

Another option is to look at the biggest angel investor groups. Be aware, however, that these meetings are really only going to happen if you can get an introduction. 

According to Entrepreneur, in order from smallest to largest the top 10 Angel Investor groups are:

  1. New York Angels Inc.
  2. Alliance of Angels (Seattle)
  3. Pasadena Angels
  4. Hyde Park Angel Network (Chicago)
  5. Band of Angels (Menlo Park, CA)
  6. North Coast Angel Fund (Cleveland)
  7. Golden Seeds LLC (NYC)
  8. Investors’ Circle (San Francisco)
  9. Tech Coast Angels (Los Angeles) and
  10. Ohio Tech Angel Funds (Columbus, OH)

Focus and requirements may vary from group to group.  For example, some concentrate on local startups only. Do your research so you don’t waste yours and the angels’ time if it isn’t a good fit.

Fund a Startup Business While Keeping Your Day Job

Here’s an option that most don’t want to hear, but it is totally legitimate and sometimes, it’s just the best way.  If you do not have access to a ton of funds to launch a huge new business right away, consider keeping your day job and start your business small, as a side hustle. 

Not every business can start this way, but a lot can.  For example, a bakery or a cleaning business can easily start this way.  If you set up from the beginning to be fundable and build business credit, you can go even further.  More on that later. 

Fund a Startup Business: The Retirement Years

This is similar to keeping your day job in that you start small.  If you have retirement savings you could use that as loan security, or take a loan directly from retirement if your plan allows for that.  You can build your business slowly, a little at the time. While you’re doing so, you can work to build business credit and overall fundability 

Whatever You Do, Build Fundability from the Beginning

So, how do you do that?  How do you build fundability and business credit? The first thing you do is set up your business to be fundable.  When you do this, you will also be setting it up to be a separate entity from you as the owner, which is the first step in building separate business credit.  How do you build a fundable foundation? You need the following.

Contact Information Separate from the Owner

The first step in setting up a foundation of fundability is to ensure 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 can still run your business from your home or on your computer if that is what you want.  You don’t even have to have a fax machine.  

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.  

Incorporate

You have to incorporate as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation. It gives credit to your business as one that is legitimate, and it separates your business from you as the owner.

Which option you choose does not matter as much for fundability as it does for your specific budget and liability protection need.  The best thing to do is discuss it with your attorney or a tax professional.  You are going to lose the time in business that you have.  When you incorporate, you become a new entity. Basically, you have to start over. You’ll also lose any positive payment history you may have.

This is why you have to incorporate as soon as possible.  Not only is it vital to fundability and for building business credit, but time in business is also important.  The longer you have been in business the more fundable you appear to be.  That starts on the date of incorporation, regardless of when you actually started doing business. 

Separate 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. 

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, 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. 

Website

These days, you do not exist if you do not have a website.  However, a poorly put together website can be even worse.  It’s the first impression you make on most, and if it appears to be unprofessional it will not bode well for you with lenders or customers. 

Fund a Startup: Build Business Credit 

Okay so, you need to know how to fund a startup, not how to set it up, right?  Here’s the thing. Once you have your business set up like this, you can start building business credit so that you have more options for funding your business.  

The main key to this is to use starter vendors that will issue net terms on your invoices and report those payments to the business credit reporting agencies.  Even if you are keeping your day job or starting small during retirement, you can use these vendors for the things you need in the everyday course of business. 

Things like office supplies, packaging, and even cleaning supplies can be purchased from such vendors on account using your business information.  As you get enough of these accounts reporting, you can apply for store credit, then fleet credit, and eventually, regular business credit cards that are not limited to specific types of purchases or specific stores.  Then, your business credit should be strong enough that you can qualify for a loan and launch your business on a bigger scale.

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

Fund a Startup Business: There are More Ways than One

The truth is, there is more than one way to fund a startup business.  Depending on your specific situation, you will have to decide which option or combination of options will work best for you and your business.

The post How to Fund a Startup Business No Matter What appeared first on Credit Suite.

Stocks Slip After Dow, S&P Hit Records

The Dow Jones Industrial Average pared losses, but finished lower a day after closing just shy of its 30000-point milestone on optimism about new Covid-19 vaccines.

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Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession

Get a business credit report in a recession and stay on top of your scores.

Here’s How to Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession

You got this: we show you exactly how to get your business credit report in a recession.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Recession Funding

In a recession, inevitably banks and other credit issuers get more conservative. So it pays to get your business credit report in a recession so you can pounce on any mistakes immediately.

Your best bet as a company owner is to stay on top of every business credit report from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian.

There are three big credit reporting agencies for companies and you really should check all three of them frequently. This is because they use moderately different yardsticks. Hence moving the needle for one can move the needle for both of the others. Although maybe not as much.

Do not permit your business credit scores slide, as you have to catch any mistakes as fast as you can. Plus, you need to identify anything which is dragging your scores down. And then take remedial measures. You can get a business credit report in a recession easily and stay on top of all three scores by following a few straightforward steps.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: D&B (PAYDEX) Business Credit Report

Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your company can end up being one of the primary reasons that your business receives credit in any manner.

A Dun & Bradstreet Report (also known as a D&B Report) is a database-generated report. The business services giant produces such a report in order to assist its clients in making decisions regarding new credit applications.

The primary reason for a client using this kind of a report is to engage in credit risk monitoring of vendors, suppliers, and business partners. This helps companies make informed business credit determinations and avoid bad debt.

Dun & Bradstreet takes several factors into account in generating such a report. These include a predictor of payment delinquency; how financially stressed a company is compared to comparable businesses; an evaluation of supplier risk; credit limit recommendation; D&B rating; and PAYDEX score. Let’s consider all these factors in turn.

Delinquency Predictor

Dun & Bradstreet uses predictive models to ascertain how likely a company is to be late with its payments. Predictive scoring is a means of using historical information to attempt to predict future outcomes. It entails identifying the risks inherent in a future decision. It does this by examining the relationship between historical information and the future event.

This represents an objective and statistically derived counterpart to subjective and intuitive assessments. Such scoring allows a business to rank and order accounts based upon the probability of an event occurring, such as delinquent payments. However, note that Predictive Scoring only represents a statistical probability, and not a guarantee.

PAYDEX Score

A PAYDEX Score is Dun & Bradstreet’s proprietary dollar-weighted numerical indicator of how a firm has paid its bills over the past year. The score is based upon trade experiences reported to Dun & Bradstreet by various vendors. In addition, the D&B PAYDEX Score ranges from 1 to 100; higher scores indicate a better payment performance.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Monitoring PAYDEX

D & B offers Credit Signal, which is a means to keep track of your credit score by having the business credit report come immediately to you, for a cost. You may discover the expense is well worth it in order to avoid the frustrations that can emerge from letting this score slip. And you will not need to produce and handle the organizing and reminders you might need to stay up to date with if you don’t use it.

Alternatives to Credit Signal

Don’t wish to make use of Credit Signal? Not a problem, as you can obtain your PAYDEX report through D & B and, if need be, you can get in touch with their Customer Service department (this department exists as a section of Dun & Bradstreet itself).

In addition, in order to review your PAYDEX report, check out what D & B provides, which is a specimen report and even some higher level tips in the way to analyze it.

D&B Data

Any report is only as good as the data it comes from. Dun & Bradstreet’s database contains over 250 million firms spanning the globe, which includes around 120 million active companies and about 130 million businesses which are out of business but kept for historical purposes.

D&B constantly gathers data and works to improve its analyses to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy possible.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Equifax Business Credit Report

Equifax, one of the large credit reporting bureaus, furnishes a risk monitoring service which is more convenient as it allows for a business credit report to come directly to you.

If you don’t want to purchase continuing reports, you can instead order your company’s Equifax report.

Additionally, if you have to question your small business’s Equifax report, you can do so by following the information on their website.

You can learn how to go over your Equifax report by checking out a specimen of their reports.

Improve Your Equifax Report

Now that you know what enters into it, you can see that some of the more crucial pieces of information Equifax looks into are public records, credit usage, and how you take care of your financial and nonfinancial accounts.

Start getting rid of your debts as quickly as possible and not going delinquent. And keep your credit utilization within reason. Less than 30% of your overall available credit is best. And start staying away from overdue payments. Then you should have the ability to build up your Equifax score.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Experian Business Credit Report

Experian, one more big credit reporting firm, also offers a way having their business credit report sent to you for a fee. As a result you can keep an eye on your Experian small business credit score here and the setup is simple.

However, if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), then you can order a single Experian report for your firm on their site.

Business Credit Report Score Improvement Tips

Experian provides a handy list of ways to improve your own, specific report.

You can get your company’s real Experian report and can dispute any errors on your company’s Experian report by following the directions on their website.

Now that you know what goes into it, you can see what some of the more important pieces of data Experian looks into are. These include payment history and credit utilization. And they also include the amount of time in business. Or at least they show the amount of time your company has had an Experian listing.

Beyond anything else, improving your payment history will increase your Experian credit scores.

Keep your credit utilization within reason. So this is because less than 30% of your total available credit is best. Clear your debts as quickly as you are able to. And don’t go delinquent. Also, avoid any late payments. Then, you should be able to improve your Experian score over time.

Likewise, if there are any problems or matters of contention, you can question any errors on your business’s Experian report if you follow the directions on their web site.

Find out about assessing your Experian report by assessing a sample Experian company credit report.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Monitoring Any Business Credit Report For Less

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any errors ASAP. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the details, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs.

At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.

Update Your Record

Update the details if there are inaccuracies or the data is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. So for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any problems in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs typically want you to dispute in a particular way.

Get your business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.

Disputes

Disputing credit report mistakes generally means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any evidence of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the originals. Always send copies and keep the original copies.

Fixing credit report errors also means you specifically itemize any charges you dispute. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

Dispute your or your small business’s Equifax report by following the instructions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.

You can dispute errors on your or your business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.

And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service contact number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.

Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Get a Business Credit Report in a Recession: Takeaways for How to Get a Business Credit Report

At times, it pays to hand over a few dollars to ensure you get a business credit report in a recession consistently. It’s a lot less troublesome than to have to remember to do this.

And you’ll probably look at these reports more thoroughly, as they come at a price tag.

Continue track and make use of the tools that these credit reporting companies provide, and make your life simpler. After all; you’ve already got enough on your plate.

Because of recent data breaches, there are even more reasons to assess your business and personal credit reports and be vigilant about any errors you find. In a recession, you need the highest business credit scores you can get. When you get a business credit report in a recession, you’re doing just that.

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