Day: January 14, 2021
OpenPhone | Front-end, Back-end, and Mobile Software Engineers | San Francisco & Remote (only US/CA)
We are a well funded startup with a very strong engineering and product culture going after a legacy space with an innovative product and ambitious goals. We are growing very fast and if you join now, you will have an outsized impact on the future.
We also offer very competitive salaries and benefits. Apply here: https://jobs.lever.co/openphone
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It was only a matter of time. Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook officially entered the video streaming game with Facebook Watch. What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy? What is Facebook Watch? Launched in 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop, …
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The best outcome now is to make the House vote the end with no Senate trial.
The White House counsel has the hardest job in America.
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There is a tool that helps you create a repeatable and seamless workflow. A system that lets you look at the bigger picture of any given work process and its current status. A place where you can make sure your whole team is on the same page, so your boss doesn’t scream at you.
It’s called workflow management software, and it makes your work life at least ten times easier.
Workflow management software takes chaos and organizes it into a clear roadmap that helps you achieve your work goals in less time and with better results. The trick is finding the one that fits perfectly with the way you do business.
To help you with that, I’m taking a look at the top workflow management tools in detail below so you can choose which one can work best for your team.
The Top 5 Options For Workflow Management Software
- ClickUp – Best for versatile workflow management
- Monday.com – Best for remote teams
- Wrike – Best for creative teams
- Trello – Best free workflow management tool
- Smartsheet – Best for IT and operations
How to Choose The Best Workflow Management Software For You
The more complex your process to finish work and reach deadlines becomes, the more likely you are to need efficient workflow software to help you get the job done. First, you always want to take stock of your current workflow system regarding what it’s lacking and what is already working well. This way, you can choose a workflow solution that’ll integrate with your work style and more accurately solve your issues.
To start, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Is your team scrambling to know what work was assigned to who at the last minute?
- Did your Excel spreadsheet get too complex to automate your work processes efficiently?
- Is there repeatable work that could be streamlined more effectively to save you time and resources?
- Is your team too overwhelmed to turn in great work because there isn’t a supportive framework to help them through their work process?
- Are there current limits that could be removed for more efficient work delivery or completion?
Workflow management and project management systems are often confused as the same thing because they share a lot of the same tools and processes. However, there is a difference.
Workflow management systems exist to manage and maintain ongoing work processes within a business. In contrast, project management systems are used to start and finish individual business projects as efficiently as possible.
So, a project management system can exist within a workflow management system while the workflow management system takes care of the bigger picture and recurring work processes in your overall business. A bit of a mouthful, but it becomes more understandable once you dive into the world of workflow management software and what it has to offer.
Once you know the distinction and made sure a workflow management system is what you’re looking for, here are additional specifications to think about when choosing a workflow system that makes the most sense for your business.
Your team’s size and planning for growth matter when you’re trying to choose a workflow tool. Why? Workflow management tools tend to charge by user. This can be a deciding factor in which system you select due to budgeting constraints. The more users you add to a system, the more you’ll be paying per month.
To add, if you don’t have to deal with a complex team structure, you might not need workflow software with all the bells and whistles that a larger business might find more useful. Sometimes, more functionality doesn’t mean it’s better for your needs.
Think about a few things as you move forward: Are there different departments that’ll need to communicate with each other frequently to greenlight work processes and projects? Are your teams adaptable to new software, or are there new API integrations you’ll need to make?
The simpler your team structures, the simpler your workflow system can be. This also often means less of a learning curve.
Tasks and Workflow Complexity
What tasks need the most comprehensive management? This can differ by niche, meaning you might need some features specifically designed for your industry and the value you create.
Some workflow systems are more equipped to deliver specific tasks than others. This can be done with anything ranging from:
- Dashboard reporting
- Gantt charts
- Document sharing and collaboration
- Scheduling software
- Task assignments and sign-offs
- Work status reports
- Integrations with third-party software
- Kanban boards
- Advanced data analysis
- Scrum work management boards
Communicating effectively with the appropriate workflow system will eliminate possible bottlenecks that slow down your growth.
With open API and integration features, your workflow system can be a seamless communication tool amongst each team member. This way, you can quickly review and respond to related emails, review project feedback, make corrections and comments, use team chat or message boards, and make sure changes to scheduling or project direction are accessible to each team member as part of your daily workflow.
If tons of communication isn’t how you handle business, and you have a more straightforward workflow management approach, you can always adjust your processes with a more customizable system.
An additional factor to think about is workflow views and how you choose to organize the information, processes, and tasks you input. Effective workflow management software gives you different ways of managing and viewing tasks and workflows.
To illustrate, a Gantt chart view, a graphical organization of a project or process, can help you simplify complex workflows. Kanban boards make viewing workflows easier and more manageable as you move cards from one chronological board to another.
A scrum board breaks down work processes into sprints and can be ordered into horizontal and vertical lanes. Looking for a workflow management system with the flexibility in preferred style makes your team’s life easier and may make your work processes faster.
The Different Types of Workflow Management Software
There are two main categories of workflow management software. Here I take a look at each.
Highly Customizable vs. Niche-Specific
With workflow management software, you can either choose a highly customizable system that fits just about any niche or go with software that caters to a set of specific ones. The choice is ultimately up to you after you audit what tools your teams need to create a better workflow process.
For instance, software like ClickUp is highly adaptable to just about any industry that wants to use it to manage their ongoing work operations. On the other hand, Wrike provides tools that are specifically adaptable to creative industries.
Cloud-Based vs. Local
Most software on this list is cloud-based, meaning you can access them from anywhere at any time. You can choose to go with software that lives on your local servers and computers, too, though keep in mind that brings its own set of pros and cons.
With a cloud-based solution, your team will be able to access the software from anywhere from multiple devices to stay accessible and updated.
#1 – ClickUp — The Best For Versatile Workflow Management
ClickUp is a powerful workflow management system that makes sure every part of your workflow can be streamlined and optimized for efficiency and speed.
That’s why it’s my top recommendation for almost everyone.
Companies like Google, Airbnb, Uber, and Nike are all optimized for a seamless work process with the ability to plug into over 1,000 integrations. With ClickUp, you won’t only manage your workflow. It’s customizable enough to also manage your projects all from one place with tools like:
- Resource management
- Goal tracking and reminders
- Email and chat features
- Complex or simple spreadsheets
- Third-party app integration
- Strategy management
With the ability to create chat views, table views, timeline views, or mind maps, you can always be sure your team is staying on top of each work task and their progress in a way that makes work easier for them.
Because of its setup, ClickUp allows you to save a lot of time by linking all project tasks, email, comments, or wikis together and allowing you to view your projects however you want and automating recurring work tasks. The tool is equipped for bigger and more complex workflow management, as well as for small businesses that want to get a handle on their growing workflow systems.
If you’re switching to ClickUp from another workflow management system, it is super easy to automatically import all your work and project information with the import feature.
One of the best parts of using such a versatile workflow manager is their price point. You can start using the system in a matter of seconds by signing up for a free account. You’ll immediately get 100 MB of space with unlimited members and unlimited tasks.
The paid plan is only $5 per user, and you get access to unlimited storage, integrations, calendar tools, guests, portfolios, boards, and custom fields.
If you’re managing a growing team, you have the option of negotiating a price point per user or team size once you fill out a quick form and send them a short proposal. All in all, ClickUp’s versatility goes far. That’s why more than 100,000 teams use it and why I’d recommend it to just about everyone.
Start your free account with ClickUp here and use it to optimize every aspect of your workflow.
#2 – Monday.com — The Best For Remote Teams
If you manage a growing remote team, Monday.com is the workflow solution that seamlessly brings everyone together.
It’s an excellent workflow system used by BBC Studios, NBC, Discovery Channel, Hulu, Cocacola, Deezer, and 100,000 other teams to ensure they’re effectively managing every step of their workflow processes with onsite and offsite team members.
With Monday.com, it’s easy to collaborate with your team from anywhere in the world by aligning work progress, video chats, and plenty of synced calendars to make sure you’re always meeting collaborative work deadlines.
You can easily start organizing tasks and automating workflows with templated daily team tasks, knowledge libraries, remote team requests, employee statuses, and one-on-one meetings. Of course, if none of these templates will do it for you, you can start from scratch and build your own any time with their vast array of tools.
Some Monday.com features that are great for remote workflow management are:
- Weekly schedules
- A meetings board with updates and recaps
- Zoom integrations to record meetings
- Local time zone tracking for each team member
- Workload and work capacity maps for any given project
- The ability to create contingency plans from project data
Monday.com charges per seat based on the tier you want access to, and each of them comes with an extensive list of features. The tiers start at three seats each, and you can save money if you choose to go with an annual plan. Here’s a quick breakdown of each level:
- Basic: $8 a user per month starting at three seats
- Standard: $10 a user per month starting at three seats
- Pro: $16 a user per month starting at three seats
- Enterprise: Contact them for more information
If you’d like to test drive Monday.com first, you can get started with their free trial here.
#3 – Wrike — The Best For Creative Teams
Wrike is a dynamic workflow management system built for creative teams. Repetitive admin tasks and reiterations can be the bane of any creative team trying to ship great work. Wrike makes it easy to streamline all your tasks in one place to ensure both productivity and speed.
With Wrike, you can manage incoming creative requests throughout their entire lifecycle with customizable forms, templates, briefs, and markup tools, so you always know the progress on each job.
For instance, Wrike’s approval tool makes it easy for anyone to leave clear project feedback on deliverables with comments for specific images, videos, or documents. You can check who is working on any project whenever you need it and create a more streamlined intake system for work requests by creating one formal point of contact for each work project.
This makes it easy to finish projects that require multiple reviews and revisions.
Some of their best features for creative workflow management are:
- Project approval templates
- Project scheduling
- Task assignment
- Daily marketing operations management
- Drag-and-drop dashboards
Wrike is free for up to five users and includes 2 GBs of space, along with tools like spreadsheet view, task management, file sharing, and basic integrations.
You can take advantage of a free trial and see how you like it. Once you’re ready to choose a paid plan, the main plans are:
- Free: Up to 5 users with a shared tasks list for small teams
- Professional: Up to 15 users at $9.80 per user per month with full project planning and collaboration
- Business: Up to 200 users at $24.80 per user per month with work management customization and reporting
- Enterprise: Unlimited users, contact their team for custom pricing for the most comprehensive solution
Wrike also offers plans that cater specifically to marketing/creative teams and professional services teams. Both of these categories have a free trial and unlisted pricing.
While Wrike does get meticulous with their pricing and feature breakdown, it ensures that you get the best plan for your specific creative workflow needs. I recommend you check out their pricing page for a full list of features to get more familiar with what’s included.
But first, you can try out Wrike free for 14 days here.
#4 – Trello — The Best Free Workflow Management Software
If you’re on a budget, Trello’s workflow system can get you on the right track for free for up to 10 boards per team.
Millions of users are already using Trello and their organized dashboards to prioritize and automate daily tasks and projects. With it, you can create boards and name them, add your tasks and team, and then add specific details to each card like due dates, work briefs, checklists, attachments, and comments.
Trello works great as a simple workflow manager for smaller teams geared for growth and efficiency without shelling out a ton on work software expenses. It is a Kanban board style layout and is especially popular for people who like very visual task and workflow management.
As mentioned, Trello is free for up to 10 boards per team, with unlimited cards and lists and a 10 MB per file attachment limit. If you love their free version so much that you want to go with a paid plan, you can choose from two options:
- Business Class: $9.99 per user per month
- Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month for 100 users (the more users you add, the less you pay per user)
Get started with Trello for free here and use their easy boards feature to begin organizing your workflow.
#5 – Smartsheet — The Best For IT and Operations
Smartsheet makes for excellent workflow management software in IT and operations teams. Generally, the two things you need when working in IT management are consistency and speed. Smartsheets deliver on this by allowing you to quickly adapt and archive projects, coordinate data center migrations, and even set up automated alerts and approvals to save you time.
Smartsheets enables collaboration across teams and gives you control access to resources. They bring it all together on an easy-to-use dashboard with plenty of reporting capabilities.
Smartsheets offers a free 30-day trial. For the paid plans, they break down their pricing tiers into four categories. These include individual, business, enterprise, or premier. To learn their prices, you’ll have to contact them first. I recommend visiting their price page to get a feel for what features and capabilities you get with each tier from their exhaustive list of features. You can also watch a demo of the tool.
Try Smartsheet free for 30 days and start creating better workflows for your team today.
Choosing the best workflow management software for you depends on a lot of variables. But you can easily start weeding out what won’t work by outlining what your workflow needs are in terms of niche, workflow needs, and team size.
I’d recommend ClickUp and Monday.com for almost anyone. ClickUp is the most versatile system to work with. It has a stellar price point, can be easy to use once you get over a slight learning curve, and it’s highly customizable for just about any workflow management need imaginable. Monday.com is ideal for remote teams and collaboration, which is needed now more than ever.
If you have more specific workflow needs for your given industry, use this guide to learn how to choose the right workflow management software for your company’s needs.
Yahoo Groups was one of the original online communities. You could use it to create or participate in online chats with people from across the world who have the same interests and ideas as you.
A host of new online communication tools have been released in recent years. Many of these new platforms offer features Yahoo Groups doesn’t. After lagging behind their competitors for a few years, Yahoo Groups officially shut down in December of 2020.
Thankfully, if you were a fan, there are a plethora of alternatives to Yahoo Groups. Below, we’ll discuss our favorites so you can pick the best online group platforms for you.
What Was Yahoo Groups Used For?
Yahoo launched Groups in January 2001. Users could post messages, polls, photos, events, files, mailing lists, links to websites, and more. The platform soon became a popular host for vibrant online discussion boards.
If you owned a group, you could also assign moderators to help you run and oversee all the group’s activities.
Online businesses and marketers took advantage of the platform. This is a place where you could easily post a recent blog, image, or file to drive brand awareness and increase website traffic.
I know what you’re thinking—this sounds very similar to many of the online tools we have today. That’s because Yahoo Groups was similar. In fact, you could argue that Yahoo Groups was the foundation for many popular social media and online groups.
At the height of its popularity, Yahoo announced it had 115 million users and 10 million groups.
But a quick search for the platform today will show you this:
Where do you go from here?
Here’s a list of the best Yahoo Groups alternatives to create valuable online connections with your market.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Yahoo Groups?
If you used Yahoo Groups and want to continue creating online communities with like-minded people, drive traffic to your website, or build brand awareness, it’s essential to look for an alternative that will meet your needs—and the needs of your audience.
Here are five options to consider.
1. Facebook Groups
Besides catching up with old and new friends, creating a group on this platform makes sense, especially for businesses. It can help you position your brand, find potential customers, and build long-term relationships with them.
Like Yahoo Groups, Facebook Groups allow you to schedule group events, share files, images, and other useful tools to continue engaging and connecting with your market.
While many brands may have Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups are where the magic lies because they see a lot more engagement than Pages.
Facebook Groups allow members to start and participate in conversations easily. They can also be private—when you have a closed group, members can engage and share their thoughts in a private setting that can only be seen by group members.
There are three types of Groups to choose from. Depending on your needs, you can create:
- A Public Group: Anyone can access the group and see what users post.
- A Closed Group: This is a private group. You can search and find the group, but members still need approval before gaining access to the group.
- A Secret Group: These are invite-only groups where only invited users can find the group or see what other users post.
Here’s how to create a Facebook Group:
After logging into your account, click the + button from the top right and select Group.
Next, enter your group name, choose privacy options, and invite people to join the group.
Once you’ve filled in the details, select Create.
You can further personalize the group by adding a description and cover photo.
If you want to start a successful Facebook Group for your brand, the first step is to decide on your Group’s purpose.
- Are you a new brand and trying to increase brand awareness?
- Are you trying to reach new customers?
- Do you want to provide a group for your existing customers where you can nurture long-term relationships?
- Would you like to showcase your expertise and establish authority in a niche market?
Understanding the purpose of your group will help direct all the content you create.
For instance, let’s say you sell a weight loss coaching program that lasts for six months. You can create a private Group for customers who are currently in coaching to share unique content and allow members to support each other.
Creating this type of group allows members to learn more about your brand and get the support they need while using your service.
The concept behind Meetup is simple—choose what you’re interested in or passionate about, find a local group that shares that same interest, attend events the group organizes, and connect with like-minded people.
The groups you join or create on this platform can be about anything: book clubs, bike rides, business networking, music, or other niche social activities.
Of course, the main difference between Meetup and Yahoo Groups is that Meetup focuses on creating real-life encounters with the people you meet online.
If your business or brand caters to local communities, then Meetup could be a great fit.
Let’s say you own a coffee shop in New York. You can find and join groups of other coffee lovers in the area. Once you’ve joined the groups, you can engage with members, build relationships, and invite them to a company event.
If you can’t find a relevant group, you can create one.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll go through a seven-step process. This includes:
Selecting your group’s location:
Choosing topics that best relate to your group:
Choosing a group name:
Describing what your group will be about:
It is free for users to sign up for the service. However, meeting organizers pay a monthly fee.
There are currently two pricing options:
- $4.99 per month for six months. This plan is for smaller groups.
- $15.00 per group per month for six months. This plan includes unlimited groups and allows you access to attendee emails.
Whichever plan you choose, creating a Meetup group will help you connect with relevant people in real-life.
Like Meetup, Nextdoor is a platform where local communities connect in real life, outside of online communications.
For Nextdoor, you must be a part of a particular neighborhood, as the focus is more on building a good network with your neighbors.
On the site, they explain:
“It’s where communities come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. Where neighbors support local businesses and get updates from public agencies, borrow tools, and sell couches. It’s how to get the most out of everything nearby. Welcome, neighbor.”
Nextdoor shares a few similar features to Yahoo Groups, such as file sharing, chat messaging, and wiki pages.
For a local business or brand, creating a Nextdoor account makes sense as the platform has grown exponentially. It doesn’t just focus on residential neighbors anymore. Local businesses, public agencies, nonprofits, and brands are also recognized on the platform.
You can then decide whether you want to create an open or a private group.
For an open group:
- Anyone in the neighborhood can search, find, and join the group.
- Potential group members outside the community can still request to join if you send them a link.
For a private group:
- Anyone in the neighborhood can find and request to join the group.
- Group admins approve requests.
- Only members of the group can view messages and discussions.
The platform is completely free to use, but you can also advertise your business or brand using Local Deals to gain traction. This is where you can share discounts and promotions with your neighborhood.
The price for Local Deals depends on your neighborhood and how long you want to advertise, but the average cost is $75.
Mark Fletcher created groups.io. You might have heard of him before. He founded ONElist, which eventually became known as Yahoo Groups.
When he introduced Groups.io, Fletcher explained that:
Yahoo Groups and Google Groups both exude the dank air of benign neglect. Google Groups hasn’t been updated in years, and some of Yahoo’s recent changes have actually made Yahoo Groups worse! And yet, millions of people put up with this uncertainty and neglect, because email groups are still one of the best ways to communicate with groups of people. And I have a plan to make them even better.
Groups.io is an email-based service with features that include:
- Integration with other popular products, such as Slack, GitHub, Facebook Pages, and Dropbox
- Hashtags to help keep group messages organized
- Unlimited chat rooms
Groups.io is a Freemium product, which means the basic features are free to use, but you can pay extra to customize your homepage, access extra storage space, schedule events, and send reminders.
The best part about Groups.io is that there is no advertising! If you spend a lot of time online, you’ll appreciate this.
Another popular online discussion forum is Discourse. Users can use it as a discussion forum, mailing list, or chat room.
Creating an online group on a different and unfamiliar site can be an overwhelming process. There’s a free 14-day trial, which you can use to help familiarize yourself with the platform and see if it can be a good fit for you and your needs.
Like Yahoo Groups and the other options on our list, Discourse is an online discussion forum that allows you to create discussions, share links, files, and integrate with various devices and online tools.
If you’ve been on online discussion forums for a while, you’ll know that some users don’t follow the rules. The platforms we’ve covered so far allow group moderators to filter out inappropriate content and users.
On Discourse, the focus is more on community moderation. However, they do offer various moderation tools, including the ability to move posts to an existing topic, merge with other posts, or delete.
Members who’ve displayed consistently positive behaviors earn likes and badges. Furthermore, they can help to maintain and moderate content and resolve disputes.
There are three pricing plan options:
- Standard: $100 per month
- Business: $300 per month
- Enterprise: You’ll need to contact them for a custom quote
A lot has changed in the world of online communication. Yahoo Groups was once a popular pioneer of online communities, but it’s closed down, like many other trailblazers. Thankfully, there are plenty of advanced Yahoo alternatives to choose from.
Whatever you decide on, I hope you found the above information helpful.
Can you think of other alternative online groups that are great for building connections?
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PayPal is a pioneer in the pay online industry. It allows customers to make and receive payments online. Better yet, none of the parties have any knowledge of the other’s banking accounts. It’s a secure way to pay and get paid online. If you are a business, a PayPal business account can help you run and grow your business like never before.
How Can a PayPal Business Account Help You Run Your Business?
With PayPal business, the ability to accept payments is huge. This is a well-known and trusted payment platform. Customers are often more likely to pay if they can do so quickly and easily using PayPal. It eliminates the need to get up and fetch a card, and they know their information is safe.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
What all Does a PayPal Business Account Offer?
There are many benefits to having a PayPal business account. First, you have quick access to the money you collect. It’s available to you within minutes, and you can transfer it to your bank or spend directly from PayPal.
Also, your customers do not pay a fee to use PayPal for purchases. They do not even have to have a PayPal account. You can make payments on all types of devices, including mobile. Not only that, but your costs are low as well. PayPal charges a fee for each sale like credit card processors, but there are not extra setup fees. There are also no fees for withdrawals, statements, or cancelations.
You can make payments yourself using PayPal as well. If your vendors accept PayPal, you can make payments quickly and easily. This is a secure way to pay online without revealing sensitive information.
PayPal Business Account: PayPal Working Capital Review
A huge benefit of a PayPal business account is access to PayPal loans. They offer flexible payments with a fixed fee and no credit check. The no credit check is possible because they use your PayPal business transactions as the basis for approval. The amount of your loan and fees are all dependent on the amount you collect each year through PayPal. Furthermore, your loan is repaid as an automatic deduction of collections through PayPal. That means, as long as you are collecting money through PayPal, they will get their money.
The maximum loan amount is 30% of annual PayPal sales. Also, it can be no more than $97,000 for a first loan. The third loan can be up to $125,000. Your business can get funding in minutes and there is no early payment penalty.
You must have a PayPal Business or Premier account for 3 months or longer to qualify. You also have to process more than $20,000 in annual PayPal sales if you have a Premier PayPal account. A regular business PayPal account only requires $15,000 annually to be eligible.
PayPal Business Account: PayPal Working Capital Rates, Terms, Fees and Repayment Options
Repayment happens automatically as a percentage of each PayPal sale. The amount depends on your business’s PayPal sales history, your loan amount, and the repayment percentage chosen. A higher payment percentage will lower the fee.
You can use their calculator tool to get an idea of what fees might look like with different repayment percentages. It can also help you get a feel for how everything works. You do have to pay a minimum amount over a 90-day period, which PayPal claims is easily met by most out of the daily sales. However, if there were a 90-day period where you were not able to hit the minimum out of sales, you can log on and make a payment.
You get to choose what percentage of sales is taken as repayment, which is great. The calculator will show you several options, but the decision is yours. Just remember, the larger the percentage the lower the fees.
Other Working Capital Options
Here are some other options for working capital if you do not qualify for PayPal, or you need more than what they can offer.
There are 4 CAPline programs that differ mostly in the expenses they can fund. Each of them carries a maximum amount of $5 million and an interest rate that ranges from 7% to 10%. Funding can take 45 to 90 days.
The four different programs include:
- Seasonal CAPLines -Financing for businesses preparing for a seasonal increase in sales.
- Contract CAPLines -Financing for businesses that need funding to fill a contract.
- Builder’s CAPLines -Financing for businesses taking on a real estate or construction project.
- Working capital CAPLines -Financing for businesses that are struggling with a short-term slump in sales.
Credit score must be at least 680 to qualify, and there is no minimum time in business requirement unless you are getting a seasonal CAPLine. That one has a one year in business requirement.
Other SBA Programs that Work Well for Working Capital
The Small Business Administration offers many loan programs that can be accessed to help with working capital needs. Remember that these programs are run through traditional lenders. However, you will likely go through a much lengthier application process and approval wait times due to the government guarantee requirements.
This program offers term loans up to $5 million. The funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other agencies in partnership with the SBA process these loans and give out the funds.
The minimum credit score to qualify is 680. There is also a required down payment of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will work.
This is by far the most popular of the SBA loan programs, and the funds are available for a wide range of projects, from working capital to refinancing debt, and even buying a new business or real estate.
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Microloans are available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries, with financing coming directly from the Small Business Administration.
Another Option for Working Capital: Credit Line Hybrid
A credit line hybrid is unsecured business credit. It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral. You only pay back what you use.
It’s not as hard to qualify as you may think. You need personal credit of at least 680. In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Also, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It’s also better if you have strong business credit as well as personal credit.
However, if you do not meet these requirements you can still benefit! You can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding.
Why Choose a Credit Line Hybrid?
There are many benefits to using a credit line hybrid. First, you do not have to have any collateral to put up. Next, the funding is “no-doc.” This means you do not 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. Most times 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.
Even better, with the approval for multiple credit cards comes competition. This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.
Credit Card Options for Working Capital
In addition to a PayPal business account with access to PayPal working credit, loans, and the credit line hybrid, business credit cards can be an option. Funds are easy to access and, in the right situation, rewards can add up nicely. You definitely want to be sure you are getting business credit cards on your business credit, not your personal credit, however.
Why? Because according to the Small Business Administration, business credit card limits are 10 to 100 times that of personal credit cards. This means that you have access to more money when you have strong business credit. Here are a few options to get you started.
This card has no yearly fee. You will not need to provide your Social Security number to apply, nor will you need to provide a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN. Yet, they do not work with all industries, so you will have to check to see if yours is eligible.
They look at the cash balance of your business, spending patterns, and investors to determine credit worthiness. They also offer some rewards. The best part? You can qualify with a FICO as low as 300!
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
This one also has no annual fee. However, there is no introductory APR offer either. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your business, without any minimum to redeem.
While this card is within reach if you have average credit, beware of the APR. Still, if you can pay promptly, and in full, then it’s a good option.
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
This is another card with no annual fee, but this one does have an introductory 0% APR for the first twelve months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.
You can get unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your company. You will need superb credit to get approval for this card.
Of course, there are many more business credit card options out there. Do your own research to determine which ones will work best for your business. Also, remember that details such as approval requirements and interest rates can change often, so check out individual credit card websites for the most up to date information.
Also remember, credit cards are only good for your business if you handle them responsibly. If you do not pay your bills on time, your fundability and your credit will be affected. Do not spend more than you can afford to pay back.
PayPal Business Account: Is it All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
For the most part, those who have a PayPal business account are happy with. The main complaint that pops up sometimes is that, though they say they have a quick turnaround, it can take up to three days for funds to show up. That is understandably frustrating, but many seem to feel once they know it and can plan for it, the benefits outweigh this inconvenience. Of course, the only way to know for sure if it will work for your business is to try it out yourself. It tends to be a better fit for those who do a fair amount of online business.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Fund Your Business
The fact is, whether you have a PayPal Business Account or not, you need to take every opportunity. If that’s PayPal working capital, great! If it’s one of these other options listed here, that’s great too. You have to make the best decision for your business. A PayPal business account appears to be just that for many. It’s a trusted company that offers low cost business services that benefit both businesses and their customers. This is priceless in itself. Customer trust is vital to success. However, having the funds you need to grow is vital to success as well.
To ensure you give your business the best chance possible, it is a good idea to consult with a business credit expert. This is someone who can walk you through the process of building fundability and applying for the right kind of business credit for your needs.
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