Day: January 1, 2021

In 2021, All the World's a Stage

We got through 2020 with pictures of normality in our heads. In a few months they’ll start to come true.

What is Games as a Service (GaaS) and What Does it Mean For Marketers?

Games as a Service (GaaS) was introduced as a barrier between consumer cost concerns and user engagement. It offers a way to bring down customer acquisition costs and has been proven to keep users in a game for far longer than the pay-to-play method. EA Games, for example, increased its market value from $4 billion to $33 billion in just six years after introducing GaaS content.

Games as a Service acts as a continuous revenue service for developers, allowing them to break their reliance on the one-time purchase. With more games being developed every year, GaaS gives them a competitive advantage in the fight for user attention. It also allows advertisers to get exposure in some of the most popular games played in today’s market.

What Is Games as a Service (GaaS)?

Games as a Service refers to games that operate without initial purchasing costs and instead, make their profits on subscriptions or in-game purchases.

Games as a Service allows video games to be monetized even after they are released and it has been proven to keep players more engaged longer. Instead of beating a level, losing interest, and forgetting the game in the back of their closet, players are constantly brought back in with the promise of new and upgraded content.

GaaS games can often be streamed directly from the cloud to a user’s device, which allows them to be accessed from anywhere, anytime. It also allows for better cross-platform functionality, a crucial part of staying competitive in the gaming industry.

This strategy allows games to be updated weekly, monthly, or sometimes even daily to keep users engaged. New content often comes in the form of “drops” or “releases” when announcing new content—a technique that echoes Supreme’s luxury marketing strategy.

Games as a Service has also been referred to as “cloud gaming,” “gaming on-demand,” “live service games,” or “game streaming.” Some popular Games as a Service games include Candy Crush, Fortnite, Destiny, and Overwatch.

Features like unique billing and subscription services have completely shifted the gaming business model. In a Games as a Service environment, payments are unique and personalized, offering a wide range of accessibility to incoming gamers.

Games as a Service Payment Options

  1. Flat billing, where a user is charged the same amount weekly, monthly, or annually
  2. Volume-based billing, which changes the charge based on consumption
  3. Tiered model, where a customer is charged based on a unit range

In addition to these updated payment options, Games as a Service players have the ability to pay via cryptocurrencies, in smaller payments, and with more frequency.

This new business model is certainly changing the landscape of gaming by offering accessibility, usability, and big profits all around.

Games as a Service Microtransactions

A microtransaction is a business model in which customers pay a low fee for a quick transaction, usually to purchase virtual items or unlock new features.

An example of this would be a player paying $2 to buy a new horse for their character to ride, or $1 for a new hat.

Microtransactions allow developers to monetize their games in a number of ways, far beyond the initial purchase point. Some games will require a small fee to unlock the next level or to access new features. These transitions are often referred to as “in-game purchases.”

On their own, these transactions may seem insignificant. Can a developer really profit when every player is only spending a dollar?

Think about it this way.

The online game League of Legends (LoL) is played by 115 million people, worldwide.

If each of those players spends even $5 while in the game, then they’ve made just over half a billion dollars.

games as a service screenshot of league of legends in game purchase screen

Virtual Currency

Virtual currency is used in many games, either as a trade-in value for real funds or to purchase features while playing. These currencies can come in the form of jewels, gold coins, tokens, and more. They can also be collected by completing quests, slaying monsters, and other such in-game activities.

Popular cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, can also be used in certain games. In games such as Lordmancer II by Active Games, gamers can even earn cryptocurrency by acquiring game assets and trading them in the in-game market.

Brands are also getting into the action by offering gamers virtual currency or exclusive game add-ons by buying their products and entering codes into their virtual storefronts. Mountain Dew and Butterfinger are two examples of brands successfully bridging the gap between physical brands and the virtual gamer environment.

games as a service mtn dew

Games as a Service Business Models

There are several Games as a Service business models that offer creative, experimental, and exciting new ways of monetizing the gaming industry. It’s important to note this field is still evolving and new models, regulations, and content strategies will continue to shape its growth.

Selling In-Game Content to Players

One of the most effective ways of continuing to monetize a game even after its release is to continue selling products to players in the game.

In certain Games as a Service models, players can pay to buy new equipment for their characters, unlock new levels or features, and even increase their abilities.

Loot boxes are one of the most well-known in-game content transactions, where players pay a small fee ($1-$3) to pull special items from a virtual box. This tactic has been accused of promoting gambling with children and it has been banned in some European countries. That being said, their profits are tremendous. Loot boxes are projected to earn $50 billion by 2022 and companies can often sponsor items.

The revenue from in-game purchases provides an incentive for game developers to continue updating and improving their games. For players, it brings new and exciting content more often, and in higher-quality.

Pay-to-Play

Pay-to-play refers to games that customers have to pay for to access. For many games, this means paying for a physical copy of a game and playing it as much as you want.

Certain games, such as World of Warcraft (WoW), only require you to pay-to-play after you reach a certain level, or after a predetermined amount of playtime. This way, players can explore the game, see if it piques their interest, and then invest once they know they want to commit. WoW operates on a subscription-based service, which requires a monthly fee in exchange for playtime.

Some companies who follow this model also use other Games as a Service tactics, such as selling in-game content or paying for new downloadable content (DLC). According to Newzoo, a games market insight firm, 2.7 billion people will spend around $159.3 billion on online games in 2020, so it’s safe to say this method is working.

Ad Placements

With an increasing amount of users now participating in Games as a Service, it’s no wonder advertisers have seen a huge market.

In-game ad placements allow developers to expand their revenue streams beyond pay-to-play models and even beyond the Games as a Service model.

Ads can be shown as videos on loading screens, or they can even be adapted into the game, such as Gatorade’s advertising in NBA 2K18’s “The Neighbourhood” mode.

In fact, players don’t even mind seeing the ads in their games. A 2018 Ipsos study found that 47% of users can recollect an ad they saw while playing a game, meaning it was part of the experience, and not an annoyance. What’s more, 50% of users found watching the ads to be “visually appealing.”

Overall, Games as a Service platforms offer a wide new world of advertising possibilities.

games as a service hotwheel and rocket league ad placement

Paying for New Content

One popular way to increase in-game revenue is to constantly add new content to a game that players need to pay for to access.

Fortnite is one of the most popular examples of this method, where players have to buy into each new “season” of content. The seasons come out four times annually, but developers also earn revenue through microtransactions between seasons.

This is a great way to keep a player base active while spending far beyond the initial release of a game. It is also a big value-add for existing users, who benefit from new and exciting content on a regular basis.

Even free-to-play platforms can benefit from this strategy as it monetizes new content instead of existing.

Game Bundles

Game bundles are a collection of multiple titles, conveniently bundled into one package that users can purchase, usually at a discount.

Bundles are often used by game developers as a way to engage new users with their existing games, by offering high-value titles along with less popular ones. This is an easy way to generate new leads on an existing, but not widely popular product.

Game bundles reduce the unit cost of games and help increase the potential reach of developer products. It’s a simple and easy way to promote certain products or to increase the revenue of a normally unprofitable product. Brands have also worked with developers in the past to offer sponsored bundles with perks.

games as a service bundle example

Cloud Gaming Services

Cloud gaming services offer unlimited access to a wide variety of games. These platforms usually operate on a subscription basis, where users pay a monthly or annual fee in order to get access to the library. A normal subscription is around $4.99-$19.99 a month.

Cloud gaming services focus on high-end, graphics-heavy games that usually require more sophisticated hardware to run. All games are hosted in the cloud and can be streamed to user devices.

One of the great benefits of cloud gaming services is that users can save money by not paying for each game individually.

Some examples of cloud-gaming services include Steam, Amazon Luna, Sony PlayStation Now, Google Stadia, and Microsoft Project xCloud.

Multigaming Platform Apps

Some platforms offer a large number of games that users can play by downloading an app.

Many of these platforms also let users earn money while they play, making them an exciting new trend in the gaming community.

Some of the most popular multigaming platform apps are WinZO, MPL, Coco, Hago, and BaaziNow.

Premium Memberships

Some platforms, such as Roblox, offer many games for free, but some can only be accessed by paying a premium membership. This is a strong incentive for users to become more entwined with a certain platform. It also makes their premium games more lucrative.

Premium memberships can range greatly in price and services offered. Some also offer virtual currency through purchases or discounts on future purchases. Ultimately, it’s all about benefiting the buyer and increasing return on investments.

games as a service tiles of many online games shown on Roblox platform

Conclusion

With the introduction of Games as a Service, the gaming industry has seen a major shift in the way it approaches consumer sales.

Now, developer goals have moved from selling as many copies of a game as possible, to maximizing recurring revenue.

The future of Games as a Service is still evolving, but we can expect to see more innovative and exciting ways of getting games and brand exposure to players in the coming years.

Do you have any products that could integrate with the Games as a Service model?

The post What is Games as a Service (GaaS) and What Does it Mean For Marketers? appeared first on Neil Patel.

Best EMR Systems

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

In the fight to stay organized, healthcare professionals have an uphill battle.

Billing is more complicated than the human genome.

Government regulations add extra steps to every task.

Decisions are time-sensitive.

Small mistakes can have serious consequences.

On top of all of this, everyone’s busy. There’s no extra time to search for a patient record or reorder an incorrect prescription.

The best electronic medical records (EMR) systems can simplify a lot of the complex challenges today’s providers face.

They are not a silver bullet by any means, but finding a product that works for your practice will make you more efficient today and better prepared for tomorrow.

Here are the top EMR systems that are helping practices improve care, reduce burnout, and make every day less stressful for everyone who walks in the door.

The Top Four Options for EMR Systems

  1. CareCloud – Best for growing specialty practices
  2. athenahealth – Best for switching to a new system
  3. SimplePractice – Best for health and wellness providers
  4. Kareo – Best for independent practices

The Different Types of EMR Systems

Not so long ago, EMR systems were the tool for turning paper charts into digital resources. They made patient data easier to access and track.

People still need these functions, but today you are going to see very few standalone EMR systems. Instead, you will find EMR systems will come as part of a larger electronic health records (EHR) system.

EMR vs EHR Systems

Here’s the key difference between the two:

  • Electronic medical records are a digitized version of a patient’s chart.
  • Electronic health records include information from all doctors involved with a patient’s care.

With EMR systems, people within the organization could access a patient’s chart. With EHR systems, on the other hand, medical records can be shared between multiple providers, labs, and insurers.

This ability to share complete EHRs is critical in today’s healthcare environment. 

You may already know the reasons why EMR systems are being phased out in favor of EHRs. I’m not going to go in-depth here, though you can certainly read about it if digging into healthcare legislation blows your hair back (see specifically the HITECH Act).

Suffice it to say, new laws and changes in technology have made EHR systems essential.

This can be confusing though. 

Many providers still need to digitize and organize the work of their office. EMR systems are perfect for that, and so there’s still a lot of online search for the term.

And because people are asking the internet for EMR systems, you’ll see vendors offering “EMR systems” and directing you to their EHR, or calling their products EMR/EHR solutions.

Some vendors seem to use EHR and EMR interchangeably. Likely, they will continue to do so as long as people are searching for EMRs.

For all the haziness and craziness of the situation, providers who need an EMR system today are really just looking at two major product categories:

  1. EHR systems
  2. Practice management suites

Let’s go through both of these so you can figure out which one is going to help you get your practice to where it needs to be.

I’m still going to talk about EMR systems, but just know that it is going to come as part of a solution with a different name.

Electronic Health Records Systems

EHR systems include everything providers need from traditional EMR systems to take their practice online. They can digitize charts, connect them to schedules, and keep each patient visit as efficient as possible.

For practices looking to go paperless, these products can be extremely helpful. They will help you turn file cabinets into searchable digital drives. This saves so much time for doctors, nurses, and staff who can quickly access everything they need from any device.

In addition to tracking patient records, EHR systems help with:

  • Billing
  • Insurance
  • E-prescribing
  • Lab work and tests

In this sense, an EHR “follows the patient,” giving all parties involved with a patient’s care the information they need to keep the process moving forward.

Most often, you will find EHR software offered as one part of a complete array of tools for managing a practice. Vendors like Kareo and athenahealth offer stand-alone EHR systems, which can be a great starting point for making the transition online.

Practice Management Suites

A practice management suite is designed to centralize all of the administrative, clinical, financial, and legal processes within a single platform.

In addition to EMR/EHR capabilities, they include:

  • Advanced reporting
  • Patient engagement
  • Revenue cycle management
  • Telehealth

As robust as these solutions are, they are not just for large organizations. In fact, these products work really well in the small practice setting. 

With limited staff, solo providers simply don’t have the time to manage 7 or 8 different tools to interact with each patient. Practice management suites are highly customizable, allowing providers to unify and trim down their workflow to its essential elements.

Small practices also benefit from the rich reporting features. 

Dashboards and data visualization tools help providers understand trends in clinical data. This can help practices decrease wait times, improve patient engagement, hit regulatory goals, and better manage risk.

How to Choose the Best EMR System for You

The right EMR system provides support for overburdened staff by streamlining critical administrative tasks.

The wrong EMR system can make things worse.

According to a study from the American Medical Association, the average family physician spends 86 minutes per day doing administrative tasks after they leave work.

This so-called “pajama time” has become an awful reality for every physician stuck using a well-intentioned but poorly-performing EMR system. 

And it’s not just doctors who are affected by this. Nurses, staff, pharmacists, and—most of all—patients suffer the consequences of inefficient systems.

Just knowing which solutions are popular is not enough. Sometimes a good system is implemented poorly or deployed in a place where it doesn’t fit.

So, how do you pick an EMR system that actually benefits employees and patients?

There’s no easy answer, but by following these three steps you can start to hone in on the right product.

Understand the features you really need

There are an astonishing number of features included with every EMR solution. Most individuals will never use the majority of them.

It’s not surprising, given that these systems are built to work for different types of doctors in a wide variety of clinical settings.

Go into your search with a list of must-have features and functionality. Every product is going to come with digitized charts and patient tracking, but what does that mean for your practice?

In other words, which system has the features that will help receptionists, nurses, doctors, and patients get from A to B? How will each set of features map to your actual patient flows?

A to B is an over-simplification, but also not. One of the most common complaints about EMR systems is that they take too long to accomplish routine tasks.

Ordering a prescription or procedure shouldn’t require scrolling through hundreds of irrelevant options. If a solution includes e-prescribing, ensure that it can be customized to actually save time.

The more A to B tasks your EMR system streamlines, the more time all staff have to spend engaging with patients.

Consider a specialty option

A welcome trend is the growing number of EMR systems tailor-made for specialty practices.

I like these because they solve two problems associated with traditional, general-use EMRs. 

One, providers get exactly the tools they need instead of a platform freighted with unnecessary features.

Two, each feature has the appropriate depth for the specialty in question. Laser settings are automatically recorded on charts for dermatologists. Orthopedic surgeons can share large-file imaging results with ease.

Instead of workflows and templates designed for the “textbook clinic,” these products meet the specific needs of today’s specialists.

Prepare for integration and implementation

It’s much easier to deploy an EMR system that integrates with the billing, imaging, and other platforms you use.

Some EMRs centralize those responsibilities within a single platform. If that’s the route you go, what’s it going to be like to move everything from multiple platforms?

The transition from paper to EMR or from one EMR to another is taxing under any circumstances. If the pieces of the puzzle don’t fit together, it can be even worse.

To make the best of a difficult challenge, find a vendor who is willing to help bring data from your existing platform to theirs as part of the deployment.

I definitely recommend reading reviews from actual customers about the kind of service they receive during and after implementation. If you are supposed to get a dedicated service rep, how dedicated are they?

It’s also not 100% on the vendor. What kind of in-house IT support will make everyone’s life easier? Under-budget for this at your own risk.

Upskilling a few “super-user” staff members who can fix issues on the spot will go a long way towards smoothing out the daily frustrations of moving to a new system.

#1 – CareCloud — Best for Growing Specialty Practices

CareCloud is a practice management suite that gives doctors more time to spend with their patients and more resources to invest in their practice. 

It unifies the tools providers need to manage every step of the patient relationship in their specific setting. Users can customize charts, reuse order sets, and share content with their colleagues.

The decision support features are quite advanced. This cuts down on the potential for medical errors by immediately flagging issues like dangerous drug combinations and dietary restrictions.

In addition to delivering real-time information at the point of care, quality chart data translates into rich reporting in CareCloud. 

Track the performance indicators that matter most, get an instant snapshot of where things stand, and keep an eye on how they evolve.

The EMR and revenue cycle management features work really well together. Providers can use what they discover to improve the quality of patient care and better steward a small practice over financial and regulatory hurdles.

One of the reasons CareCloud works so well is that they offer 24 specialty specific solutions. These deliver tremendous out-of-the-box functionality to providers who would otherwise be stuck configuring their system.

For pain management, physical therapy, podiatry, proctology, pulmonology—and that’s just the p’s—clinicians and physicians can get to work on CareCloud right away.

Some of the highlights of CareCloud include:

  • E-prescribing
  • Real-time patient flows
  • Patient portal
  • Drag-and-drop scheduling
  • Quality initiative reporting
  • Mobile app

In addition, they make a lot of additional tools available to speciality practices through their Content Store. Find solutions for insurance, billing, scheduling, and record-keeping that are built by other providers in your specific field.

You’ll have to get in touch with CareCloud for pricing, whether you want to use Charts—their EHR module—or the entire practice management platform.

It’s a great option for speciality practices that are looking to grow. CareCloud will streamline every process—from insurance to patient handoffs—because it has everything a specialist needs with none of the bloat.

#2 – athenahealth — Best for Switching to a New System

athenahealth consistently develops trusted healthcare software for hospital systems, small private practices, and everything in between. 

They offer a full practice management suite, athenaOne, which provides EHR, billing, patient engagement, population health, care coordination, and epocrates, a best-in-class mobile app.

Alternatively, providers can use athenaClinicals, the EHR component of athenaOne. Their products work well with many other options on the market, so practices don’t have to migrate all their systems at once.

This makes it a great option for practices that see EMR/EHR a key step in the gradual process of future-proofing their entire practice.

One of the biggest draws of athenaClinicals is how easy it is to navigate. It’s a really intelligent platform that is continually auto populating patient data and prioritizing important information. 

A lot of the platform’s recommendations come from trends it picks up on in your network, like routine processes and orders. If patients being seen for one treatment are often prescribed a certain medication, it will be right there without any search required.

Stop struggling with ever-changing procedure codes and insurance protocols. athenahealth monitors federal quality programs and makes best practices available immediately.

Some of the other standout features include:

  • Secure voice, text, and email reminders
  • Patient portal
  • Decision support
  • Rich reporting
  • Mobile app
  • App marketplace

Even though the user interface is great, there is a learning curve because the platform is so deep. In other words, the control that makes athenahealth such a great long-term solution requires a little getting used to in the short term.

I think it’s worth it, because it’s the last tool staff will ever have to learn.

The platform has proven itself capable of handling the most challenging healthcare IT environments.

Never switch again.

The cost of athenahealth’s integrated suite is based on a percentage of monthly collections. The idea is that they partner with your practice instead of locking you in a contract and charging for upgrades. 

They do well if you do well. Many companies report that the increased efficiency with billing and collections offsets the costs almost entirely, to say nothing of its impact across the practice.

athena’s customer support has a solid reputation and they have a lot of experience helping clients move their data over securely.

If you are stuck on paper or with a system that’s not getting it done, athenahealth will do what it takes to make you their next satisfied member.

#3 – SimplePractice — Best for Health and Wellness Providers

SimplePractice is an affordable practice management suite that’s delivering value to therapists, dieticians, social workers, and other providers in the mental health and wellness space.

It’s a great price for small clinics and private practices that want to centralize charts, notes, appointments, insurance, and billing in one intuitive platform.

There’s a patient portal, so both sides benefit from the accessibility. Clients can upload documents and even book their own appointments (on your terms, of course). 

Speaking of accessible, SimplePractice empowers providers to meet with their clients, regardless of where they are coming from, or ability to come in.

Every consultation can be managed securely online, thanks to features like paperless intakes, online booking, and HIPAA-compliant telehealth solutions.  

Not every community has the local resources in place to serve those who need care. And even when patients have a nearby office, taking time to come in for appointments can still pose problems.

SimplePractice can help providers stay in touch with clients, no matter how busy or far away they are.

It’s great for an entire practice, but focusing in on the EMR features, SimplePractice comes with:

  • Template library
  • Diagnosis and treatment plans
  • Searchable ICD-10 codes
  • Secure text messaging
  • Appointment reminders
  • Superbills
  • Mobile App

There’s also customizable patient intake forms and surveys, which allow providers to ask questions in the right way. They can be sensitive, specific, and leave enough room for people to share their thoughts.

They offer plans for solo practices starting at $39/month. 

Group practice rates start at $98/month for 2 clinicians. Each additional user costs $39/month.

Features like telehealth and billing are extra charges, as they are with other platforms. On SimplePractice, however, the added costs are transparent—$10/month per user for telehealth and electronic claim filing starts at 25¢ per claim.

Practices that don’t need these features, or use something else, aren’t stuck paying, and those that need them have a predictable cost at the end of the month. 

Predictable, affordable, and complete. That’s SimplePractice. Try it free for 30 days.

Their Switching Team will help you import everything and live support is included with every plan.

#4 – Kareo — Best for Independent Practices

Kareo is an all-in-one solution for practice management that’s designed to meet the particular needs of an independent practice. 

This is their focus. You never have to worry about competing with massive hospitals for their attention.

Kareo isn’t hospital software that’s been pared down. The platform is a simple set of three integrated modules: Clinical, Billing, and Engage. 

There aren’t a million components to get the complete system and, more importantly, each part works fine on its own. 

If a company just needs a dependable EHR, for example, Kareo Clinical has everything they need.

Charts are easy to read with space for notes. They feel simple, despite the wealth of information you can add. Kareo is optimized for all screen sizes, letting providers prescribe a medication or create a bill in minutes from any device.

The e-prescribing features save providers time and patients money. With Kareo’s integrated prescription discounts, doctors can compare prices and find savings for their patients.

They have a lot of great templates and forms that can be customized quickly, plus “same-as-last-time” features that streamline routine documentation. 

Other helpful tools include:

  • Patient portal
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Secure messaging
  • Decision support
  • Rich reporting
  • App marketplace

Kareo flowsheets are one of the most useful reporting features, showing doctors a patient’s key vitals and lab results over time. This makes it easier to analyze progress and track several aspects of a patient’s health at once.

None of these great features take long to master. There are self-service online resources like Kareo University, which many users find helpful.

But you are not on your own. After you sign up, they provide a free Kareo success coach for the first 60 days who will help with transferring and digitizing files. 

Their customer support is available via phone, email, and chat to answer all those insurance billing questions.

For independent practices that want an efficient, simple way to manage medical records, Kareo Clinical is going to overperform. 

Summary

Providing quality care is hard. 

That’s the root of the problem when it comes to finding a workable EMR system. Often, people put off switching to a better system because it’s such a pain.

Kareo and athenahealth do a lot to make the process easier. Independent practices should opt for Kareo because it’s built to fit their needs. For everyone else, athenahealth is a dependable long-term solution no matter how their practice evolves over time.

Looking at speciality practices, CareCloud is going to be the easiest to get up and running. So much of the backend organization has been done already. Templates and forms are ready to go and you don’t have to sort through irrelevant options.

For those working in the health and wellness space, SimplePractice is a perfect platform. It’s got competitive, predictable pricing and a rich set of features designed to nurture the most sensitive patient relationships.

The post Best EMR Systems appeared first on Neil Patel.

Top 5 Harmonica Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 5 Harmonica Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Harmonica Podcasts Tomlin’s Harmonica Podcast Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast Harmonica Studio Podcast The Reedplate Submit Blog Do you want more traffic, leads, and sales? Submit your blog below if you want to grow your traffic and revenue. Submit Your Blog Harmonica Podcasts View Latest Posts ⋅Get […]

The post Top 5 Harmonica Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Top 15 Sleep Apnea Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Top 15 Sleep Apnea Podcasts Contents [show] ⋅About this list & ranking Sleep Apnea Podcasts Deep into Sleep Airway, Sleep & TMD Podcast with Jamison Spencer Sleep Apnea, Sleeping Disorders & Why Can’t I Sleep? AWAKE: The Sleep Apnea Podcast Sleep Apnea Stories Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive […]

The post Top 15 Sleep Apnea Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

Getting Business Credit Cards in a Recession: How to Establish Separate Business Credit

You can get business credit cards that do not report to personal credit. This is the case despite what’s going on with the novel coronavirus.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Get Business Credit Cards That Do Not Report to Personal Credit

What do you know about how to establish separate business credit? Business credit cards that do not report to personal credit are not out of reach. We know the secrets!

Remember that any inquiries into your consumer credit score will negatively impact that score. And a lot of merchants and lenders will carry out inquiries when working with you for the first time. Separate business credit means you keep business credit card inquiries from affecting your consumer credit.

COVID-19 and Recession Era Financing

As the novel coronavirus continues to

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Get a D&B D-U-N-S number

Start at the D&B website and obtain a cost-free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business in their system, to generate a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s sites for the business. You can do this at https://www.creditsuite.com/reports/. If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

This way, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: File a DBA

If you operate a small business as a sole proprietor, then at the very least be sure to file for DBA (‘doing business as’) status.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the small business name. Because of this, you can find yourself being personally liable for all small business financial obligations.

Also, according to the Internal Revenue Service, with this structure there is a 1 in 7 possibility of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Steer clear of confusion and significantly reduce the odds of an Internal Revenue Service audit as well.

And who would not want that?

But keep in mind – don’t treat a DBA filing as anything beyond a steppingstone to incorporating.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Go Beyond a DBA and Make Your Small Business a Distinct Legal Entity through Incorporation

Meet with your tax consultant or financial planner. And together, pick which legal entity (sole proprietor, LLC or S-Corp) will most effectively fit your company and particular financial circumstances.

Incorporation can also help to secure your personal assets. That is in the event of a lawsuit. Once your corporation or LLC is registered on your state’s Secretary of State’s website, you can then get a Business Federal Tax ID Number. So then you can open your business’s bank account.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Get an EIN

Visit the IRS website and get an EIN for the company. They’re free of charge. Pick a business entity such as corporation, LLC, etc.

A small business may get started as a sole proprietor. But they absolutely need to change to a variety of corporation or an LLC.

This is to diminish risk. And it will make best use of tax benefits.

A business entity matters when it comes to taxes and liability in case of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the entrepreneur is it when it comes to liability and taxes. Nobody else is responsible.

The best thing to do is to incorporate. You should only look at a DBA as an interim step on the way to incorporation.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Company Legitimacy

A small business must be reputable to lending institutions and merchants. That is why, a small business will need a professional-looking website and email address, with website hosting bought from a merchant such as GoDaddy.

And company phone numbers must have a listing on ListYourself.net.

At the same time the company telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or similar).

A corporation will also need a bank account dedicated strictly to it, and it must have all of the licenses essential for operation. These licenses all have to be in the accurate, accurate name of the company, with the same small business address and phone numbers.

So note that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Build Business Credit

Business helps to protect a business owner’s personal assets, in the event of court action or business bankruptcy. Also, with two separate credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two separate cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another advantage is that even startup companies can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building small business credit, when done correctly, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores depend on payments but also additional components like credit utilization percentages. But for company credit, the scores truly only hinge on whether a company pays its debts in a timely manner.

Business credit is an asset which can help your business for years to come.

The Process

Growing small business credit is a process, and it does not happen automatically. A small business has to actively work to develop business credit. However, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much quicker than developing individual credit scores.

Merchants are a big aspect of this process.

Doing the steps out of sequence will lead to repetitive denials. Nobody can start at the top with small business credit. For instance, you can’t start with store or cash credit from your bank. If you do you’ll get a rejection 100% of the time.

Starter Vendor Credit

First you need to establish tradelines that report. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get credit for numerous purposes, and from all sorts of places.

These varieties of accounts tend to be for things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor workwear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first of all, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are oftentimes Net 30, versus revolving.

Therefore, if you get an approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.

Details

Net 30 accounts need to be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid in full within 60 days. In comparison with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.

To start your business credit profile the right way, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. As soon as that’s done, you can then use the credit.

Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Vendor Credit – It Helps

Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that grant approval with negligible effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/

Uline

Uline is a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.uline.com. They sell shipping, packing, and industrial supplies, and they report to Dun & Bradstreet and Experian. You MUST have a D-U-N-S number and an EIN before starting with them. They will ask for your company bank information. Your company address must be uniform everywhere. You need for an order to be $50 or more before they’ll report it. Your first few orders may need to be prepaid initially so your company can get approval for Net 30 terms.

  • How to apply with them:
  • Add an item to your shopping cart
  • Go to checkout
  • Select to Open an Account
  • Select to be invoiced
Crown Office Supplies

Crown Office Supplies is another true starter vendor. You can find them online at https://crownofficesupplies.com. They sell a variety of office supplies and take helping clients seriously. They say, “just starting your business, or maybe have an existing business, but you have a question regarding office supplies… we are here to help!” And they report to Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax.

There is a $99.00 yearly fee, though they do report that fee to the business credit reporting agencies. For other purchases to report, the purchase must be at least $30.00. Terms are Net 30.

  • Here’s how to qualify:
  • Your corporate entity must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State
  • You must have an EIN and a D-U-N-S number
  • Business address (it has to match everywhere)
  • Business license (if applicable)
  • A corporate bank account
  • Corporation must be at least 60 days old
  • Membership fee is $99 annually upon approval

Apply online.

Grainger Industrial Supply

Grainger Industrial Supply is also a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.grainger.com. They sell hardware, power tools, pumps and more. They also do fleet maintenance. And they report to D&B. You need a business license, EIN, and a D-U-N-S number.

  • To qualify, you need the following:
  • A business license (if applicable)
  • An EIN number
  • A company address matching everywhere
  • A company bank account
  • A D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet

Your corporate entity must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State. If your company does not have established credit, they will require additional documents. So, these are items like accounts payable, income statement, balance sheets, and the like.

Apply online or over the phone.

build separate business credit in a bad economy Credit SuiteStore Credit

Store credit comes from a variety of retail service providers.

You must use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the small business’s EIN on these credit applications.

Fleet Credit

Fleet credit is from businesses where you can purchase fuel, and fix and take care of vehicles. You must use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the company’s EIN.

Cash Credit

These are companies such as Visa and MasterCard. You must use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.

These are often MasterCard credit cards.

Accounts That Don’t Report

Non-reporting trade accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can also be of some worth.

You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. Plus, credit accounts of any sort should help you to better even out business expenditures, consequently making financial planning less complicated.

More of How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Monitor Your Business Credit

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

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for a lot 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 Records

Update the data if there are errors 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.

Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any errors in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be taken care of. But the CRAs usually want you to dispute in a particular way.

Get your small 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 mail a paper letter with duplicates of any evidence of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never mail the original copies. Always mail copies and retain the original copies.

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

Dispute your or your 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 company’s Experian report by following the directions 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.

A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit sensibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay off. Track balances and deadlines for payments. Paying on time and fully will do more to increase business credit scores than nearly anything else.

Building company credit pays off. Excellent business credit scores help a small business get loans. Your loan provider knows the small business can pay its financial obligations. They know the business is bona fide.

The company’s EIN links to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to call for a personal guarantee.

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Check Out Some of Our Favorite Credit Cards

Perks vary. So make sure to choose the perk you prefer from this range of options.

Secure Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit Scores

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It has no yearly fee. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can get unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, with no minimum to redeem.

While this card is within reach if you have fair credit, beware of the APR. Yet if you can pay promptly, and completely, then it’s a bargain.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-classic/

Business Credit Cards for Extravagant Travel Points

Flat-rate Travel Rewards

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It has an introductory yearly fee of $0 for the first year, which then rises to $95. The regular APR is 18.49%, variable due to the prime rate. There is no introductory annual percentage rate. Pay no transfer fees. Late fees go up to $39.

This card is excellent for travel if your expenses don’t fall under basic bonus categories. You can get unlimited double miles on all purchases, without any limits. Earn 5x miles on rental cars and hotels if you book through Capital One Travel.

Get an initial bonus of 50,000 miles. That’s the same as $500 in travel. But you only get it if you spend $4,500 in the initial 3 months from account opening. There is no foreign transaction fee. You will need a great to outstanding FICO rating to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-miles/

Bonus Travel Categories with a Sign-Up Offer

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

For a wonderful sign-up offer and bonus categories, have a look at the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Pay an annual fee of $95. Regular APR is 17.49 – 22.49%, variable. There is no introductory APR offer.

Get 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months after account opening. This works out to $1,250 toward travel rewards if you redeem with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Get 3 points per dollar of the initial $150,000 you spend with this card. So this is for purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services. Plus it includes advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

You can get 25% more in travel redemption when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. You will need a good to outstanding FICO score to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/business-preferred

No Annual Fee

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard® credit card

For no yearly fee while still getting travel rewards, check out this card from Bank of America. It has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for purchases during the initial 9 billing cycles. Afterwards, its regular APR is 13.74 – 23.74% variable.

You can earn 30,000 bonus points when you make a minimum of $3,000 in net purchases. So this is within 90 days of your account opening. You can redeem these points for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time. And this is no matter how much you spend.

Likewise get 3 points per every dollar spent when you book your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America® Travel Center. There is no limit to the number of points you can get and points don’t expire.

You will need superb credit to get this one (as in, 700s or better).

Find it here: https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/credit-cards/products/travel-rewards-business-credit-card/

Hotel Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Card from American Express. It has an annual fee of $125. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 17.24 – 26.24%. You will need good to outstanding credit scores to get this card.

Points

You can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your card to make purchases of $3,000 in the initial three months. Get 6x the points for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You can get 4x the points at United States restaurants and filling stations. And you can get 4x the points on wireless telephone services bought directly from American service providers and on American purchases for shipping.

Get double points on all other eligible purchases.

Rewards

Also, you get a free night every year after your card anniversary. And you can earn another free night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.

You get Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year and get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.

Plus, each calendar year you can get credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bonvoy-business/

Dependable Credit Cards for Fair to Poor Credit, Not Needing a Personal Guarantee

Brex Card for Startups

Take a look at the Brex Card for Startups. It has no annual fee.

You will not need to supply your Social Security number to apply. And you will not need to supply a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN.

Nevertheless, they do not accept every industry.

Additionally, there are some industries they will not work with, as well as others where they want more paperwork. For a list, go here: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/.

To determine creditworthiness, Brex checks a corporation’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.

You can get 7x points on rideshare. Get 4x on Brex Travel. Also, get triple points on restaurants. And get double points on recurring software payments. Get 1x points on everything else.

You can have bad credit (even a 300 FICO) to qualify.

Find it here: https://brex.com/lp/startups-higher-limits/

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

Flexible Financing Credit Cards – Take A Look at Your Alternatives!

The Plum Card® from American Express

Have a look at the Plum Card® from American Express. It has an initial yearly fee of $0 for the first year. Afterwards, pay $250 annually.

Get a 1.5% early pay discount cash back bonus when you pay within 10 days. You can take up to 60 days to pay without interest when you pay the minimum due by the payment due date.

You will need excellent to excellent credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/

Unbeatable Cards for Jackpot Rewards That Never Expire

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Check out the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It has no yearly fee. You can get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on the cash back you can earn. And earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the initial three months. Rewards never expire.

Pay a 0% introductory APR for 9 months. Then pay 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR after that.

You will need good to superb credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash-select/

Exceptional Business Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

No Annual Fee/Flat Rate Cash Back

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Have a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Past no annual fee, get an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your corporation. And get $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You will need superb credit to receive this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/unlimited

Company Credit Cards with a 0% Introductory APR – Pay Zero!

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Check out the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

Get double Membership Rewards® points on day to day company purchases like office supplies or client suppers for the first $50,000 spent per year. Get 1 point per dollar afterwards.

You will need good to exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bluebusinessplus-credit-card/

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Also check out the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card. Keep in mind: the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. However its rewards are in cash instead of points.

Get 2% cash back on all qualified purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year. After that get 1%.

It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You will need good to excellent credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/business-bluecash-credit-card/

Terrific Cards for Cash Back

Flat-Rate Rewards

Capital One ® Spark® Cash for Business

Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It has an introductory $0 annual fee for the initial year. Afterwards, this card costs $95 annually. There is no introductory APR deal. The regular APR is a variable 18.49%.

You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $4,000 in the initial 3 months from account opening. Get unlimited 2% cash back. Redeem any time without any minimums.

You will need good to outstanding credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash/

Flat-Rate Rewards and No Yearly Fee

Discover it® Business Card

Have a look at the Discover it® Business Card. It has no yearly fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for one year. Then the regular APR is a variable 14.49 – 22.49%.

Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no category restrictions or bonuses. They double the 1.5% Cashback Match™ at the end of the first year. There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can download transactions| quickly to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. Note: you will need good to outstanding credit scores to receive this card.

https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/business/   

Bonus Categories

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Check out the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%. You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening.

You can earn 5% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year.

Get 2% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no limitation to the amount you can get.

You will need excellent credit scores to qualify for this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/cash?iCELL=61GF

Boosted Cash Back Categories

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card

Have a look at the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card. Get an 0% introductory APR for the initial 9 billing cycles of the account. Afterwards, the APR is 13.74% – 23.74% variable. There is no yearly fee. You can get a $300 statement credit offer.

Get 3% cash back in the category of your choice. So these are filling stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services. Get 2% cash back on dining. So this is for the initial $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. Then earn 1% after, with no limits.

You will need exceptional credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://promo.bankofamerica.com/smallbusinesscards2/

The Perfect Business Credit Cards for You

Your perfect business credit cards are dependent on your credit history and scores.

Only you can determine which advantages you want and need. So be sure to do your research. What is excellent for you could be disastrous for someone else.

And, as always, make sure to build credit in the recommended order for the best, fastest benefits.

How to Establish Separate Business Credit: Takeaways

Bolster the professionalism of your company and learn how to establish separate business credit.

You can get business credit cards that do not report to personal credit. Learn more here and get started in getting business credit cards that do not report to personal credit. The COVID-19 situation will not last forever.

The post Getting Business Credit Cards in a Recession: How to Establish Separate Business Credit appeared first on Credit Suite.

Why Small Businesses Fail and How to Not Fail in the New Year

There are a ton of studies about how most small businesses do not make it. There are studies that show 20% of new businesses do not make it past the first year. Others show 50% do not make it past 5 years, and according to the SBA, only 30% make it past 10 years.  

There is some question as to how accurate these actually are, based on a number of variables. One thing is for sure however. Many, many businesses fail, and you do not want yours to be one of them. 

How to Not Become Another Small Business Statistic in 2021

The question isn’t really about how many businesses fail. Rather, it’s about how not to fail. The best way to do that, is to take a hard look at why businesses fail, and then figure out how to avoid the pitfalls they were not able to. 

Here are 5 of the most common reasons why small businesses fail, and how to avoid them. 

Why Small Businesses Fail: Lack of Market

You can have what may seem like the best idea ever, but if there is no market for it, it will not do you much good.  On the flip side, there may be a need or desire for your product or service, but your timing is just off.  

For example, people may love old movies. But, in this pandemic state, the timing is not right to open a theater dedicated to them. Most are avoiding crowds.  Furthermore, the disposable income isn’t there.  Post pandemic may be another story.  Movie lovers will be looking to get out.  Incomes may still be low, but they may actually be more willing to drop money on a reduced-price ticket for an old movie than $12 on a ticket for a new move.  

You have to do market research, and remember, timing is everything. 

why small businesses fail Credit Suite3

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Why Small Businesses Fail: Lack of Cash/Funding

Honestly, this may actually be number one right here.  Of course, you can have all the funding you need and still fail.  Even the best of businesses go down if they do not have the cash they need. So, this is where investors, small business loans, and other more creative business funding options come into play. 

Still, don’t think that a lack of personal or business credit means you don’t have a chance.  Truly, it is possible to build business credit, and you can even fund a business at the same time.  Options from The Small Business Administration work for many.  

Not only that, but nontraditional funding products like the credit line hybrid can be a lifesaver. The ability to take on a credit partner means you can access cash even without great personal credit, and this is one of the rare products that actually helps build business credit. 

Other benefits to using this type of funding include that it is unsecured.  In other words, you do not have to have any collateral.  Next, the funding is “no-doc.”  This means you don’t have to provide any bank statements or financials.  

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

The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.  One other benefit is this.  With the approval for multiple credit cards, competition is created.  This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. 

Why Small Businesses Fail: No Plan/ Not Working the Plan

If you apply for funding or financing from anyone, it’s likely you have a business plan.  Most lenders and investors require one.  Of course, if you are able to self-fund, that’s a different story altogether. Still, even if you have a plan, it does you no good if you don’t follow it.  That’s where most small businesses are when it comes to this point.  If you have a plan, work it.  Follow your marketing plan as developed per your market research. Stick to your budget.  Work the plan.

Here are the basics of a solid business plan. 

A Strong Opening 

This includes an executive summary of the business idea, a description of the business that goes into further detail, and the strategies you plan to implement for getting started. 

Market Research 

This actually includes two parts.  

Analysis of audience

What need will your business fill, and for who? How will your business fill the need? All of that information goes in this section. 

why small businesses fail Credit Suite3

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Competitive Analysis

Is there already a business working to fill this need? Is there room for more? How do you plan to compete with them? 

The Plan 

How is all of this going to play out, from start to finish. What steps are you going to take? This is more detailed than your strategies section. 

Who will own or does own the business and who will run or currently runs it from day to day. This could be as simple as stating that you are the sole owner and operator, or as complicated as laying out a complete partnership plan or board or directors’ format. It just depends on how your business works. 

Financials

This section includes current financials, projections, and a budget plan for the loan funds you are applying for.  Lenders need to see that you know how to handle the funds you get, and that you have a plan to pay them back.

Working the Plan 

Are sales down? Refer to your plan.  Struggling with cash flow?  What does the plan say?  Trust the process. Also, remember to revisit the plan occasionally even if things are going well to look for ways to improve it, or adjust it if necessary.

Not having a business plan or not using a plan you have is definitely one recipe for why small businesses fail. 

Why Small Businesses Fail: Failure to Adapt

Another reason why businesses fail is failure to adapt. Never have we seen this more glaringly in a society than during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, but it is always a reality.  Failure to adapt is failure to thrive.  Whether a quick pivot to working remotely, or revamping your entire strategy, the ability to adapt has proven to be a major survival technique for small business. 

Some examples that came out of the pandemic include:

  • Small bakeries offering curbside service and deliver
  • Locally owned movie theaters offering backyard movie packages, to-go theater treats, and family party packages for those in the same household to rent and entire theater
  • Hairdressers making house calls
  • Small boutiques offering online sales that you pick up curbside

These are just a few examples. There are many out there. 

why small businesses fail Credit Suite3

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Why Small Businesses Fail: Not Having the Right Team in Place

Good help is hard to find, and a lack of it has caused many businesses to sink fast. It is important to hire the right people, and that takes planning.  You need to know your strengths and weaknesses first. Then, you can look for people that have strengths where you have weaknesses.  These are those that can stand in the gaps you may not be able to fill. 

This may not always be employees. You may need to outsource things like accounting or janitorial work. You also need to be diligent when hiring. Take the time to look at social media for example.  You may get a new view of who you are hiring. 

There Are Many Reasons Why Businesses Fail

A lot of the studies focus on how many businesses fail.  And it’s true, there are many reasons why small businesses fail.  However, these studies do not focus on the fact that a lot do survive.  Avoiding these common reasons why small businesses fail won’t guarantee survival, but it will certainly help.  Start the new year off planning to thrive, not fail. 

The post Why Small Businesses Fail and How to Not Fail in the New Year appeared first on Credit Suite.

What is Games as a Service (GaaS) and What Does it Mean For Marketers?

Games as a Service (GaaS) was introduced as a barrier between consumer cost concerns and user engagement. It offers a way to bring down customer acquisition costs and has been proven to keep users in a game for far longer than the pay-to-play method. EA Games, for example, increased its market value from $4 billion to $33 …

The post What is Games as a Service (GaaS) and What Does it Mean For Marketers? first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

What is Crowdfunding?

What is crowdfunding?  It’s one of the newest ways to fund a business. It’s been around a few years, but not as long as other funding options.  It allows you to access tons of investors at once, and test the market at the same time. Here’s how it works.  You market your business on the platform, and anyone who wants to can invest in the company.  Some platforms will even accept donations as low as $5 or $10 dollars, though most do require more.  With rewards-based crowdfunding, you get some token of thanks for your donation.  With equity-based crowdfunding, which almost always requires $500 or more, investors get a piece of the company pie, so to speak. 

What is Crowdfunding and Will It Work for You? 

The question of what is crowdfunding is easy to answer. The question of whether crowdfunding will work for you is a whole other can of worms.  It works well for some businesses, but not for every business.  In fact, most find that they need to supplement their crowdfunding money with some other form of funding.  Since it is debt free cash however, it is definitely worth considering.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

What is Crowdfuding? The Basics

Now that you know the answer to what is crowdfunding, you need to know what it is not.  First, it’s not ever a sure thing.  While there are a lot of successful crowdfunding campaigns, the majority are not able to fully fund their business through crowdfunding.  According to Startups.com, the average success rate of a campaign is 50%, and 78% of crowdfunding campaigns reach their goal.  That sounds somewhat promising.  However, it seems success depends greatly on your market, among other things.  For example, here are a few more statistics from the same study with success broken down by the type of business: 

  • Business and Entrepreneurship: 41.4%
  • Social Causes: 18.9%
  • Films and Performing Arts: 12.2%
  • Real Estate: 6.2%
  • Music and Recording Arts: 4.5%

If you’ll notice, none of these hit the 50% success rate.  What does that mean?  It means whatever you do, be sure you have a backup plan.

What is Crowdfunding? Different Types

A lot of people do not realize there are actually two types of crowdfunding.  There is rewards based crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding.  Many see all crowdfunding as some sort of hybrid between the two.  However, they are actually very different creatures. 

In fact, while some platforms allow campaigns to do both, many only allow one or the other.  It’s important to determine which one will work best for your business before you decide on a platform. 

What is Crowdfunding? Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Type

Which one will work best for you will depend on a number of things.  It can help to understand the benefits, as well as the drawbacks, of each option. 

Rewards Based Crowdfunding

  • Pros
    • Debt free
    • Do not give up equity in your company
    • Relatively easy
  • Cons
    • Typically raises smaller amounts of money
    • Risk lawsuit if do not follow through on promises
    • Rewards can get expensive

Equity Crowdfunding

  • Pros
    • Easier access to investors
    • Faster way to show investors what you’ve got
    • Less focus on regulatory compliance and more on getting product or service to the market
  • Cons
    • Managing a lot of smaller investors can be harder than managing a few large stakeholders
    • May need an investor liaison, which can be costly
    • Reporting and auditing requirements can get tricky with a lot of investors

What is Crowdfunding? Which Platform Should You Choose? 

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to crowdfunding platforms. They include some that are quite well known, and others that are not.  Some allow for both types of funding, while others only allow equity crowdfunding or rewards based crowdfunding, not both.  Here are a few of each to kick off your research. 

Rewards Based Crowdfunding Platforms

Kickstarter

They are the biggest crowdfunding platform. They have over 14 million backers and over 130,000 funded projects. Campaigns are for products and services such as:

  • Publishing
  • The arts and film
  • Comics and illustration
  • Design and tech

A prototype is required. Also, projects cannot be for charity, although nonprofits can use Kickstarter. Lastly, they do not allow equity crowdfunding.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo has over 9 million backers. Their minimum goal amount is $500. They charge 5% platform fees and 3% + 30¢ third-party credit card fees. Fees are deducted from the amount raised, not the goal. As a result, if you exceed your goal, you will pay more in fees.

RocketHub

RocketHub is more for entrepreneurs who want venture capital. They give you an ELEQUITY Funding Room. This platform is specifically for business owners working on projects in these categories:

  • Art
  • Business
  • Science
  • Social

If you achieve your fundraising goal, you will pay a fee of 4%. In addition, you’ll pay a 4% credit card handling fee. However, if you do not reach your goal, that fee jumps up to 8% plus the credit card handling fee. As a result, RocketHub is best for companies that are confident they will make their goals.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Equity Crowdfunding Platforms

MoneyCrashers.com has a great list of equity crowdfunding platforms.  Here are just a few. 

AngelList

AngelList is a trailblazer when it comes to equity crowdfunding.  Their original mission was to form connections between technology entrepreneurs who needed cash and angel investors.  Today, they remain true to their first love and so much more. 

CircleUp

CircleUp works to help emerging brands and companies raise capital to grow. However, companies must apply and show revenue of at least $1 million to get a listing on the site. That said, the platform will sometimes make exceptions.

The process is thorough, which makes them a good option for entrepreneurs who already have an established business.

If your business gets approval for listing on CircleUp, the fee percentage comes from the total amount you raise.

Fundable

Fundable actually offers both rewards based and equity crowdfunding options.  Their basic profiles are open to the public.

They charge $179 per month to fundraise. Fees on rewards are: 3.5% + 30¢ per transaction. They do not charge success fees.

4. Crowdfunder

Though they do not make it formal, the companies listed here tend to lean toward a specific type of niche.  For example, most are innovative and social or non-traditional.

Wefunder

The cool thing about Wefunder from an investor’s standpoint is, although most platforms set minimum investments around $1,000 or higher, this platform allows investment minimums to go as low as $100.  Still, many companies go ahead and require at least $500.  They companies on the platform vary widely including: 

  • Green energy
  • Biotech
  • Logistics
  • Retail
  • Insurance and
  • Even packaged food

Localstake

Localstake hooks up investors with small businesses that are already generating revenue.  These companies tend to be consumer-facing, such as food production, apparel manufacturing, or brewing. Localstake is unique in that it offers 4 different options to investors. These include revenue share loans, convertible debt, preferred equity, and traditional loans. 

What is Crowdfunding? Set Your Campaign Up for Success

Whatever type of crowdfunding you choose and whichever platform, there are some things you can do to help your campaign be as successful as possible. 

Do the Research 

You have to know your market and what demand looks like.  The only way to find that out is to research. Figure out how much money you actually need before you set your goal. Lots of business owners have started crowdfunding campaigns only to find the demand isn’t there or their goal fell short of the actual need.

Product Prototype

For products, you need to have a sample to show investors. This is important. People are much more likely to let go of money if they can see something tangible. This is so vital that Kickstarter actually mandates that you to have a prototype to show potential investors

The Right Platform is Imperative

Once you know who your target audience is, you can determine if you would be best served by Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or another successful platform that is not as well known. If your audience doesn’t use the platform you are on, it won’t matter how great your idea or product is. They’ll never see it.

Goals Build Mountains

Setting attainable goals is necessary to success. Make certain you look at the numbers in relation to actual facts before you set a fundraising goal. Be certain you have production facilities on the line that can meet the timeline goals. Do not randomly set goals with no clue what it will take to reach them.

Marketing Makes the World Go Road

You can’t just throw something together. If you create a video, it needs to be professionally edited. Any social media should be specifically targeted toward your audience.

What Happens When Crowdfunding Isn’t Enough? 

The best part of crowdfunding is that, for the most part, it is debt-free cash.  However, it is not a given that you will raise all the money you need.  What do you do if you need more?  There are a few 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.  

Your personal credit score should be at least 685.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 5 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.

Don’t give up if you don’t meet all of those requirements. You can take on a credit partner that does meet them.  A lot of business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  

There are a ton of benefits to using a credit line hybrid.  For one thing, this is unsecured financing.  You do not have to put up collateral.  Also, the funding is “no-doc.”  That means you don’t need to provide any bank statements or financials.  

Then, typically approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Sometimes you can even get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business. 

The process is pretty quick, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.  Also, with the approval for multiple credit cards, competition is created.  This makes likely you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months, assuming you handle the credit responsibly. 

Grants

While grants aren’t typically a complete funding option, they can work very well as supplemental funding.  If you are a business owner that fits into one of these categories, grants may especially be an option, though there are grants available to all business owners.  Those that have the most grant opportunities include: 

  • Women
  • Minorities
  • Veterans
  • Businesses in low-income areas

The competition is fierce for all grants, but they are free money.  That makes them worth a shot for sure.

Loans

Loans are the tried and true funding option, but they aren’t all created equal.  If you do not qualify for traditional loans, SBA loans can be a saving grace.  There is a lot of red tape involved, and they are not fast, but because of the government guarantee involved, some businesses are eligible for these loans when they are not eligible for others. 

When your credit score isn’t quite up to par, you may not be able to qualify for SBA loans easily either.  In this case, online lenders can be a legitimate option.  They tend to lean less on personal credit score and more on other factors such as revenue and time in business.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

What is Crowdfunding?  A Great Option!

Crowdfuding can be a great way to raise funds for your business.  However, it’s not a guarantee.  You definitely need a backup plan.  A credit line hybrid is an awesome backup funding source, but there are others as well.  SBA loans, grants, and online lenders all have their place.  

The main thing to remember when it comes to crowdfunding is, you have to take the time to make educated decisions on whether you want to use equity crowdfunding or not, which platform best suits your type of business, and what kind of campaign goals you need to set. Once you make these decisions, all you can do is put your business out there and hope for the best.  Good luck!

And for more information on funding options that aren’t crowdfunding, check out our many legitimate funding sources.

The post What is Crowdfunding? appeared first on Credit Suite.

The post What is Crowdfunding? appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

Reliable Recession Corporate Credit

Can you still get recession corporate credit? Yes! Of course you can!

Your Business Needs Recession Corporate Credit

Recession corporate credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t tie to an entrepreneur’s personal credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the business.

Consequently, an entrepreneur’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

Recession Era Financing

The number of United States financial institutions and also thrifts has been decreasing slowly for 25 years. This is from consolidation in the marketplace as well as deregulation in the 1990s, reducing obstacles to interstate banking. See: https://www.fundera.com/blog/happened-americas-small-businesses-financial-crisis-six-years-start-crisis-look-back-10-charts

Assets concentrated in ever‐larger banks is problematic for small business proprietors. Big banks are a lot less likely to make small loans. Economic slumps mean banks end up being much more careful with lending. Luckily, business credit does not rely upon financial institutions.

The Advantages of Recession Corporate Credit

Because company credit is independent from individual, it helps to protect an entrepreneur’s personal assets, in case of litigation or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two distinct credit scores, a business owner can get two separate cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another benefit is that even startups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration.

But building business credit, when done right, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores are dependent on payments but also additional considerations like credit usage percentages.

But for corporate credit, the scores actually merely depend on whether a small business pays its debts on a timely basis.

The Process of Building Recession Corporate Credit

Building small business credit is a process, and it does not happen without effort. A company needs to actively work to establish small business credit.

That being said, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much quicker than establishing individual credit scores.

Merchants are a big aspect of this process.

Undertaking the steps out of sequence will lead to repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with recession corporate credit. For example, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.

Corporate Credit and Fundability

A small business has to be fundable to lenders and merchants.

Therefore, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have site hosting bought from a vendor like GoDaddy.

Plus, business phone numbers ought to have a listing on ListYourself.net.

Likewise, the company telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or comparable).

A business will also need a bank account dedicated only to it, and it must have all of the licenses essential for operation.

Licenses

These licenses all must be in the perfect, correct name of the business. And they need to have the same company address and phone numbers.

So keep in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.

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!

Working with the IRS

Visit the IRS website and acquire an EIN for the business. They’re totally free. Select a business entity such as corporation, LLC, etc.

A small business can get started as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely wish to change to a sort of corporation or an LLC.

This is in order to limit risk. And it will take full advantage of tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it pertains to taxes and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.

Sole Proprietors Take Note

If you run a small business as a sole proprietor, be sure to incorporate.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the business name. Consequently, you can end up being directly responsible for all company financial obligations.

Also, according to the Internal Revenue Service, using this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 possibility of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Steer clear of confusion and considerably lower the chances of an Internal Revenue Service audit as well.

But never look at a DBA filing as ever being anything more than a steppingstone to incorporating.

Beginning the Recession Corporate Credit Reporting Process

Start at the D&B website and get a totally free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to generate a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s sites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

In this manner, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.

Vendor Credit

First you should build trade lines that report. This is also called vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a corporate credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get retail and cash credit.

These kinds of accounts tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But to start with, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you preliminary credit when you have none now. Terms are typically Net 30, versus revolving.

Therefore, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.

Details

Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid completely within 60 days. In comparison with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.

To kick off your business credit profile properly, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. Once that’s done, you can then make use of the credit.

Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Vendor Credit – It Makes Sense

Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are merchants that will grant an approval with a minimum of effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

This is how to get started with recession corporate credit.

You want 3 of these to move onto the next step, which is retail credit. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/

Accounts That Don’t Report

Non-Reporting Trade Accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at the very least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can nonetheless be of some worth.

You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And credit accounts of any sort will help you to better even out business expenditures, thereby making financial planning easier. These are providers like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.

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!

Retail Credit

Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to retail credit. These are service providers which include Office Depot and Staples.

Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.

Fleet Credit

Are there more accounts reporting? Then move to fleet credit. These are service providers like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to buy fuel, and to repair and maintain vehicles. Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the business’s EIN.

Cash Credit

Have you been responsibly managing the credit you’ve gotten up to this point? Then move onto more universal cash credit. These are companies like Visa and MasterCard. Just use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.

These are frequently MasterCard credit cards. If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are attainable.

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!

Monitor Your Recession Corporate Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and address any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the practice of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the particulars, 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 Records

Update the data if there are mistakes or the details 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.

Fix Your Recession Corporate Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any mistakes in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs normally 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 commonly means you send a paper letter with copies of any proof of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always send copies and keep the original copies.

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

Dispute your or your company’s Equifax report by following the directions 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 phone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.

A Word about Recession Corporate Credit Building

Always use credit smartly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying off punctually and fully will do more to increase corporate credit scores than just about anything else.

Establishing recession corporate credit pays. Great business credit scores help a business get loans. Your loan provider knows the small business can pay its financial obligations. They recognize the business is for real.

The company’s EIN connects to high scores and loan providers won’t feel the need to require a personal guarantee.

Takeaways

Recession corporate credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come. We can help you get started toward growing corporate credit. The COVID-19 situation will not last forever.

The post Reliable Recession Corporate Credit appeared first on Credit Suite.

The post Reliable Recession Corporate Credit appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.