Author: Thomas Fleetwood

What's at Stake in Georgia

Here’s the difference between a Democratic and Republican Senate this year.

Return of the Obama Economists

Biden’s policy advisers were in charge during the secular stagnation years.

Democrats Defrock Dianne Feinstein

Her Senate Judiciary demotion is a message to Georgia voters.

Seven Ways You Can Destroy Your Recession Bank Credit

Your Recession Bank Credit Score – What’s it All About?

Did you know there are all kinds of ways you can wreck your recession bank credit score? It is, regrettably, pretty easy to run a power saw through your bank score.

However prior to going any further, do you know the distinction between recession bank credit scores and company credit?

Small business credit is the full and complete amount of cash that your company can obtain from all types of creditors. That means the banking system, credit unions, credit card companies, and also renting businesses. And it also means vendors, under what’s called trade credit or supplier credit or trade lines. That is, vendor credit.

But a recession bank credit score, on the other hand, is a measure of the full amount of borrowing capability which a business can receive from the banking system only.

Recession Era Financing

The number of American banks and thrifts has been decreasing gradually for 25 years. This is from consolidation in the market along with deregulation in the 1990s, decreasing obstacles to interstate banking. See: fundera.com/blog/happened-americas-small-businesses-financial-crisis-six-years-start-crisis-look-back-10-charts

Assets focused in ever‐larger banks is troublesome for small business owners. Big financial institutions are much less likely to make small loans. Economic declines imply banks become much more careful with lending. The good news is you can assure your bank by improving your recession bank credit score.

Recession Bank Credit Ratings Clarified

A small business can obtain more company credit promptly, so long as it has at the very least one bank reference and an average day-to-day account balance of at least $10,000 for the most recent three month time period. This setup will yield a bank credit score of a Low-5. So this means it is an Adjusted Debt Balance of from $5,000 to $30,000.

A lower score, like a High-4, or balance of $7,000 to $9,999 will not immediately decline the small company’s loan application. Nevertheless, it will slow down the approval process.

Have a look at our expert research on bank scores, the little-known reason you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your small business.

What is a Recession Bank Credit Score?

A bank rating is a measure of the average minimum balance as kept in a business bank account over a 3 month long period. Therefore a $10,000 balance| will rate as a Low-5, a $5,000 balance will rate as a Mid-4, and a $999 balance will rank as a High-3, etc.

A business’s principal goal should always be to maintain a minimum Low-5 bank rating (or, an average $10,000 balance) for at the very least three months. This is because, without at least a Low-5 score, the majority of banks will operate under the assumption that the business has little to no capacity to pay off a loan or a business line of credit.

Yet there is one point to remember – you will never really see this number. The financial institution will simply keep this number in its back pocket.

It is vital, particularly in bad economic times, to do your best to raise your recession bank credit score.

Recession Bank Credit Score Ranges

The numbers work out to the following ranges:

To get a High-5 rating, your business will need to have an account balance of $70,000 to $99,999. For a Mid-5 score, your company must have an account balance of $40,000 to $69,999. And for a Low-5 rating, your company needs to keep an account balance of $10,000 to $39,000. So your small business needs this level bank score or better in order to get a bank loan.

For a High-4 score, your small business has to have an account balance of $7,000 to $9,999. And for a Mid-4 rating, your small business must maintain an account balance of $4,000 to $6,999. So for a Low-4 rating, your small business will need to have an account balance of $1,000 to $3,999.

Damaging Your Recession Bank Credit Rating

And now, without further ado, right here are 7 ways you can leave your bank rating in tatters.

7th Way to Destroy Your Bank Credit

Don’t keep a minimum balance for a minimum of three months. Because every bank score cycle is based upon the previous 3 months, a continuously seesawing balance should harm your bank rating.

6th Way to Ruin Your Bank Credit

Don’t bother to guarantee that your company bank accounts are reported precisely the same way as every one of your company documents are, and also with the exact same physical address (no post office box) and contact number. Sow confusion here by changing one and not another, or not fixing an error if there is one.

Have a look at our expert research on bank scores, the little-known reason you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your small business.

5th Way to Destroy Your Bank Credit

To go along with # 6, do not make certain that each and every credit bureau and trade credit vendor likewise lists the business name and address the precise same way. This is every keeper of financial documents, earnings and sales taxes, web addresses as well as e-mail addresses, directory assistance, and so on.

No lending institution is going to think of the myriad ways that a business might be listed, when they check out the business’s creditworthiness. Thus if they are not able to locate what they need easily, they will either deny an application or it won’t be reported to a business credit reporting agency such as Experian, Equifax or Dun & Bradstreet.

For that reason, if they are not able to locate what they require conveniently, they will simply reject the application. So ensure your records are a mess!

Recession Bank Ratings

4th Way to Damage Your Bank Credit

Never handle your bank account responsibly. This means that your small company ought to not prevent writing non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks at all costs, since those annihilate bank ratings. Non-sufficient-funds checks are something which no small business can afford to let happen.

Balancing checkbooks and accounts is so boring anyway. You’ve got adequate cash without even making sure, right?

3rd Way to Ruin Your Bank Credit

To contribute to # 4, do not include overdraft protection to your bank account immediately, in order to avoid NSFs. Why bother thinking in advance or preparing for the future? Everything is going to| be excellent permanently, right?

Writing checks insufficient funds (NSFs) is a sure way to wreck your bank rating.

2nd Way to Destroy Your Bank Credit

Don’t let your business show a positive cash flow. The cash coming in and leaving your firm’s bank account must reflect a positive free cash flow.

A positive free cash flow is the quantity of income left over after a company has paid every one of its expenses. According to Investopedia, it “represents the cash a company can generate after required investment to maintain or expand its asset base. It is a measurement of a company’s financial performance and health.”

When an account shows a positive cash flow it suggests your company is producing more profits than is used to run the business. That means the financial institution will feel your small business can pay its costs.

So if you actually intend to ravage your bank score, purchase whatever’s expensive for your company so your costs outstrip your earnings. Doesn’t every factory deserve deluxe carpets in the loading dock?

Have a look at our expert research on bank scores, the little-known reason you will – or won’t – get a bank loan for your small business.

1st Way to Destroy Your Bank Credit

Banks are extremely motivated to lend to a business with consistent deposits. And a business owner needs to also make regular deposits in order to keep a positive bank rating. The business owner has to make several consistent deposits, more than the withdrawals they are making, in order to have and preserve a great bank score. If they can do that, then they will have an excellent bank credit score.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, right? So be a free spirit!

Damage Your Small Business’s Recession Bank Credit Rating – Despite The Fact That You Will Never See It

You, the entrepreneur must never make consistent deposits. And these deposits should never be more than the withdrawals you are making, in order to destroy your bank credit rating.

If you can do these things, then your business will have a horrible bank credit score. And, in turn, a bad bank credit rating means your company is far less likely to obtain business loans.

Just Kidding: Certainly We Do Not Actually Want You to Ruin Your Business’s Recession Bank Credit Score!

So, where do you go from here?

The First Great Way to Rescue Your Bank Credit

Perhaps the most convenient way to achieve and maintain a great bank credit is to deposit at least $10,000 into your business bank account and keep it there for as much as six months. While you will still need to make regular deposits, this one simple step will aid in three ways. One, you will have kept a great minimum balance for a minimum of three months. 2, you will probably not overdraw with such a great balance. And 3, you will get to the magic minimum for a Low-5 bank credit rating. Hence you will be taking care of our # 4 and # 7, above.

And you may even have the ability to get around our # 3. However we still highly recommend overdraft protection.

The Second Terrific Way to Rescue Your Bank Credit Rating

A 2nd requirement is to see to it your small business account information correspond across the board, all over. While it may take some work order to ensure everything is right, you will be taking care of our # 5 as well as # 6, above.

The Third Great Way to Rescue Your Bank Credit Rating

A 3rd necessity is to make regular deposits, and make sure they are greater than the quantities you are withdrawing every month. This will take care of our # 1 and also # 2 conveniently.

Your bank rating is not to be trifled with. Despite the fact that the banks maintain a secret regarding them, failing to keep your bank credit score high will make it a great deal tougher to be successful in business.

The post Seven Ways You Can Destroy Your Recession Bank Credit appeared first on Credit Suite.

Renewable-Energy Stocks Are Getting a Biden Bump

Three funds, which investors are betting stand to benefit from Joe Biden’s green-energy proposals, are up more than 80% this year.

The post Renewable-Energy Stocks Are Getting a Biden Bump first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

The Best Help Desk Software (In-Depth Review)

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

Unorganized support teams are a nightmare for everyone involved. 

From two agents wasting time on the same request to customers or employees sitting around for hours waiting on an answer, things can get really hectic without the right tools and software. And it could even damage your reputation forever. 

You don’t want that and I don’t want that for you, either. 

However, choosing the best help desk software for your team isn’t an easy task. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of options to choose from. 

So to help make your life a bit easier, I looked at dozens of the top options on the market and narrowed it down to my top six recommendations. 

From small customer support teams to IT services and mobile field support, this guide covers it all. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which help desk software is right for you, regardless of your situation. 

The Top 6 Options For Help Desk Software

  1. Freshdesk – best for small to midsize businesses
  2. Hubspot – best all-in-one customer service CRM
  3. Zoho Desk – best for fast-growth businesses
  4. Freshservice – best for IT service management
  5. Happyfox – best for mobile and field support teams
  6. Cayzu – most affordable help desk software

How to Choose The Best Help Desk Software For You

Before we dive into my top recommendations, let’s talk about what makes these tools great and what to look for when deciding which help desk software is right for you and your team. 

There are tons of options to choose from, so don’t forget to keep these considerations in mind as you go through the process. 

Your use cases

Help desk software exists for a number of reasons, like internal employee support and external customer support. Furthermore, different tools include varying features depending on your use cases. 

So, it’s essential to consider how you plan to use the software before making a decision. 

Number of agents

How many support agents do you have? Most help desk software charge by the agent, so you need to have a good idea of the number of seats you need.

Some providers also impose agent limits on specific plans, so you’ll have to upgrade to a higher tier if you need to add more agents to your account. This upgrade can be extremely pricey, especially if you’re not expecting it. 

So, make sure to choose a plan that offers a bit of breathing room as you grow. 

Ticket management

Tickets help you organize, route, and store help desk inquiries. So, you should make sure your software includes basic ticket management systems to help make the process faster and easier. 

Furthermore, some software includes ticketing features for a wide variety of support channels, including email, live chat, social media, instant messaging, SMS, and more. 

An efficient ticketing system is crucial, from automatic ticket creation and organization to smart routing and everything in between. 

However, some of the options on this list limit the number of tickets you can create daily or monthly, which may be too limiting for large teams. And you may be better off choosing an unlimited plan instead. 

So, keep this in mind as you make your final decision. 

Support channels

What channels do you use to provide support? 

Internal support teams may use instant messaging, live chat, or email while customer service teams may utilize social media, SMS, and phone calls. 

Regardless of the channels you use, it’s crucial to implement software that handles everything you need. 

If you already have systems in place, make sure the help desk software you choose plays well. And if you don’t, consider where your customers/employees hang out and the communication methods they’re most comfortable with. 

Furthermore, you should also think about internal communication tools. One agent may need to pass an inquiry on to someone else, or they may need help answering someone’s questions. 

So, it’s important to think about how your agents communicate with each other and how you plan to share information from one department to another, as well. 

Other features

The best help desk software includes a variety of helpful features beyond ticketing and communication. And it’s essential to consider which features you need to streamline and optimize your support systems. 

Some typical features and extras include:

  • Knowledgebase and self-service support
  • Escalation levels to the right people
  • Automated workflow creation
  • Open API integrations
  • Internal chat software
  • Cross-department collaboration
  • Client and contact management
  • Analytic dashboards
  • Role-based access
  • Ticket sorting
  • Time tracking

It’s also crucial to consider the specific features you need for your use cases. 

Internal teams need different things than customer support teams, so keep this in mind as you go through the decision-making process. 

Analytics and reporting 

Data helps managers and owners understand how your service agents perform and what your customers are asking. Advanced ticket tagging and categorization can also help with the latter. 

From there, you can optimize your support process and work on building a self-service knowledge base or in-depth how-to guides to quickly and efficiently answer common questions. 

This frees up agents and gives them more time to handle less-common requests. 

Furthermore, reports and data visualization help display information in a way that’s easy to understand. This can give you a birds-eye view of your support system and may even help you know how to better serve your team and customers. 

The Different Types of Help Desk Software

There are several different types of help desk software. The best type for you depends on various factors, including the size of your business, your budget, customization, and security requirements. 

Cloud or web-based — this is the most common type, and it’s often referred to as a SaaS tool because the user pays a monthly subscription to continue using the software. 

Furthermore, everything is stored on the cloud or the provider’s server, so the user doesn’t need additional infrastructure or dedicated IT. Plus, the vendor is in charge of managing and maintaining the software, making it an easy and affordable option for businesses of all sizes. 

All of the recommendations on this list offer a cloud or web-based solution.

On-premise — unlike cloud or web-based software, on-premise systems are installed on the user’s servers. Typically, the end-user purchases a license for the software and they’re in charge of management and maintenance. 

While they’re harder to install and manage regularly, they tend to be more secure and customizable. So, it’s an excellent option for high-security industries and anyone interested in a hyper-customized solution. 

However, this means a dedicated team is required to update and maintain the infrastructure.

Enterprise-grade — these are built specifically for extremely large businesses. They come with a ton of hyper-customizable features and solutions to suit the needs of enterprise businesses with massive budgets. 

Enterprise help desk software comes in all shapes and sizes, from single-location businesses to international conglomerates operating worldwide. 

For most users, this type of software is 100% overkill. 

Open-source — this type of software is best for developers or companies with knowledgeable IT departments because you get access to its source code. This means you can modify how the software works to meet your unique requirements. 

Essentially, it’s a more affordable way to get a highly customizable solution, as long as you have the skills and know-how to make it work for you. 

#1 – Freshdesk Review — The best help desk software for small to midsize businesses

If manual email and social media customer service are becoming too much for your team to manage, Freshdesk is a great way to ease the burden.

Its ticketing system is straightforward to use, and it comes with numerous helpful features.

Plus, it’s incredibly affordable, and there’s a limited free forever plan with unlimited agents to try it out before you invest a single penny. 

With Freshdesk, you can streamline conversations across channels in one place, create contextual conversations with anyone, automate repetitive processes to save time, automatically share solution articles, and easily monitor your team’s performance. 

Furthermore, you also get access to countless support features, including:

  • Multi-channel team inbox
  • Agent collision detection
  • Custom ticket statuses
  • Scenario automations
  • Canned responses
  • Shared ownership and huddles
  • Linked tickets
  • Time tracking
  • Scheduling dashboard
  • Event and time-based automations
  • AI-powered chatbots
  • Knowledge base capabilities

On top of that, they also offer several educational courses and a fully-staffed customer support team to help you and your team get the most out of your new software. 

Freshdesk has five different help desk plans to choose from, including:

  1. Sprout — Free with limited features
  2. Blossom — $15/agent per month
  3. Garden — $35/agent per month
  4. Estate — $49/agent per month
  5. Forest — $99/agent per month

You can start with the free plan to try it out, but I highly recommend upgrading to a paid plan when you can justify it to gain access to more of their advanced features. 

Each plan comes with a free 21-day trial to test the waters before making your final decision.

#2 – Hubspot Review — The best all-in-one customer service CRM

If you need a full-blown customer relationship management (CRM) tool to go along with your help desk software, Hubspot is a smart choice. 

And the best part? You can get everything you need to get started for free. 

With their free Service Hub, you get ticketing, meeting scheduling, reporting, a team inbox, live chat + chatbots, email templates, and team email connections. 

So, it includes everything you need to start optimizing your customer support process. 

But you also get several other features like tasks and activities, email tracking, contact website activity, contact management, custom fields, and more. 

While Hubspot’s free plan is excellent, their paid plans offer a fantastic suite of amazing features you can use to improve your entire support system further. 

Each pricing tier adds more advanced features, but their most affordable plan ($40 per month for two users) includes:

  • Eight hours of VoIP calling and recording
  • Conversational bots to create and route tickets
  • Simple open and close automations plus internal notifications
  • 1,000 canned responses for frequently asked questions
  • Up to 1,000 email templates
  • Ten reporting dashboards
  • 1,000 documents
  • Conversation routing
  • Two ticket pipelines
  • Up to five currencies

So, it’s quite a step up from Hubspot’s free plan. However, if you meet those limits, you have to upgrade to a higher-tiered plan. The next tier starts at $320/month, so it’s quite pricey. 

Alternatively, you can opt for their Starter Growth Suite, which includes the starter plan for Hubspot CRM, the Marketing Hub, the Sales Hub, and all the service features above. 

It starts at $50 per month, so it’s a super affordable way to get access to a ton of different marketing, sales, and CRM features if you need access to all of them. 

Note: this is special COVID-19 pricing with regular rates starting at $112.50 per month. 

#3 – Zoho Desk Review — The best help desk software for fast-growth businesses

Zoho provides countless business tools to businesses of all sizes in every industry you can imagine. 

All of their software is fantastic, and their help desk software is no exception. 

From affordable plans at every level and a robust free plan to incredible support features, you can rest assured that Zoho Desk has the ability to scale alongside you as your business grows. 

At its core, Zoho Desk is a multi-channel ticketing system. So, you get top-of-the-line ticketing features that let you organize and streamline support inquiries, whether they’re coming from email, social media, live chat, phone, or an online form. 

And as your business grows, the need for a self-service knowledge base increases. With Zoho Desk, you can quickly turn support requests into knowledgebase articles in just a few clicks to continuously grow your database. 

On top of that, you also get access to a wide variety of features designed to help improve and consolidate your support processes. Some of the most popular features include:

  • Zia, an AI-powered digital assistant
  • Help center tools to design and create your knowledge base
  • Several ticket views and automatic ticket organization/prioritization
  • Advanced response editor with canned snippets
  • Visual process automation builder
  • Customization via APIs and built-in integrations
  • Dashboard headquarters for analytics and reporting
  • Custom field options for web forms

With that said, it’s important to note that lower-tiered plans don’t include every feature. So, be sure to look through each plan’s features before choosing one. 

And keep in mind that you may have to upgrade to a higher plan to get what you need. 

Zoho Desk plans include:

  1. Free — For up to three agents with email ticketing and limited features 
  2. Standard — $12/agent per month with social channels, workflows, and dashboards
  3. Professional — $20/agent per month with BPM, time tracking, and ticket sharing
  4. Enterprise — $35/agent per month with Zia, live chat, and advanced customization

Sign up for a free trial to see which plan is right for you and your team today.

#4 – Freshservice Review — The best for IT service management

If you’re looking for a better way to handle IT support, Freshservice is one of the top options on the market. Like Freshdesk, it’s a Freshworks product, so you have a massive brand behind the software. 

However, it’s built specifically for IT teams, rather than customer service. 

With more people working from home, strong IT support is more critical than ever before. And you may even see an influx of inquiries coming through as people adjust. 

Which… is where Freshservice comes in and saves the day. They offer everything you need, including multi-channel support, hardware and software records, contract management, and a top-rated mobile app for iOS and Android. 

Furthermore, you can automate agent assignments and approval workflows to help streamline the process. Plus, you also get access to powerful features like:

  • Incident, knowledge, and SLA management
  • A user-friendly service catalog
  • Self-service portal and knowledgebase
  • Internal contextual collaboration
  • Problem, change, and release management
  • Project dashboards and analytical reports
  • Asset and inventory management
  • Lifecycle management
  • Asset auto-discovery
  • Interactive visualizations

And you can easily integrate any Freshworks software with Freshservice, along with tons of other third-party software integrations as well. 

So, it’s an excellent choice if you already use or plan on using any of their other business tools. 

Freshservice offers four different plans to choose from, including:

  • Blossom — $19/agent per month with essential features
  • Garden — $49/agent per month for growing teams
  • Estate — $79/agent per month for large teams
  • Forest — $99/agent per month for enterprises

These prices indicate annual pans paid in advance. They also offer monthly plans for a higher fee, except for the Forest plan. 

Try Freshservice free for 21 days to see if it’s right for you!

#5 – Happyfox Review — The best for mobile and field support teams

Field agents have a unique set of challenges vs. support teams in the office or one set location. As such, you need a specialized tool that adapts to meet your needs. 

Happyfox is a field service software designed to help you track agents, schedule work, and leverage real-time communications with a fully-featured mobile interface for seamless use on the move. 

When agents are continuously traveling from one job to the next, they must have an easy way to share and track status information from one agent to the next. 

And the good news is that Happyfox does just that, with a wide range of features like:

  • Ticket ques, statuses, and categories
  • Multi-channel ticketing capabilities
  • Ticket threads and attachments
  • Canned actions and responses
  • Searchable and customizable knowledgebase
  • Agent collision detection
  • Built-in asset management
  • Auto-assignments and smart rules
  • Simultaneous routing rules
  • SMS support

And dozens of other helpful features specifically for mobile teams. 

Unlike the other options on this list, Happyfox doesn’t display their pricing online. But they offer standard per agent pricing and special packages for unlimited agents, making it suitable for field service teams of all sizes. 

For agent-based pricing, they offer four plans with varying feature sets. 

And each plan automatically includes SSL security, unlimited tickets, smart rules, knowledgebase capabilities, multilingual support, rich text formatting, and mobile applications. 

However, their unlimited agent plans cap the number of tickets you can have in a year. So, you have to decide which option makes the most sense for your situation. 

Schedule a live demo to see if Happyfox is right for you and your team today!

#6 – Cayzu Review — The most affordable help desk software

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cloud-based help desk software, Cayzu is exceptionally affordable with paid plans starting at $4 per agent per month. 

It’s also straightforward to use. With that said, it’s not the most feature-rich option, but you sacrifice some of the advanced features for an incredibly affordable price. 

At just $4 per month, you get access to all the essential features you need, including:

  • Secure data protection
  • Automatic backups
  • A mobile application
  • Unlimited customer support
  • Ticketing system
  • Canned responses
  • Knowledgebase capabilities
  • Email ticket creation
  • Multi-language support
  • Open APIs and rest APIs
  • Support widget

Or you can upgrade to one of the higher plans for just a few dollars ($9 per agent per month) and get time tracking, assignment rules, basic automations, due dates, custom SSL certificates, and more. 

And they also offer a freedom plan (up to 70 agents) if you’re interested in an easy way to get all of their features. It starts at $469 per month, but it’s probably overkill for most users. 

Plus, over 20,000+ companies (including Verizon, Yahoo, and PBS) trust Cayzu with their help desk needs. So, you’re not alone and you’re in good company when you sign up.

Sign up for a free trial to see if Cayzu’s right for you today!

Wrapping things up

Freshdesk, Hubspot, and Zoho Desk are my top recommendations for most users. They all offer numerous powerful features at affordable prices for businesses of all sizes. 

However, they’re not perfect for everyone. Different situations call for different solutions. 

So, don’t forget to use the criteria we talked about as you sort through choosing the best help desk software for you, your team, and your customers. 

What’s your go-to help desk software?

The post The Best Help Desk Software (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.

Olney: How baseball can save itself beyond 2021

Players and owners both have to move from their negotiating positions, because if they don’t, the stakes for the future of baseball can’t get higher.

The post Olney: How baseball can save itself beyond 2021 appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

The post Olney: How baseball can save itself beyond 2021 appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

5 Warning Signs Your Business Is Failing in the Decline of the Economy

Are there warning signs your business is failing in the decline of the economy?  There could be.  By knowing the signs you can take action and help keep things running even during the worst of time.  Right now, the problem is COVID-19.  The Federal government and state governments are working hard to help small businesses, but you can do something for yourself as well.

There are Warning Signs That Your Business is Failing in the Decline of the Economy, but What You Can Do About It

You can see the impending doom on the horizon. Its building like a sand storm and you can’t promise you will not be buried in it.  The decline of the economy is inevitable, and you cannot promise your business will survive.

Our economy runs in cycles, with waves of good times and bad coming in like clockwork.  The fact that a rise or decline will come is pretty much the only predictable part however.  No one knows when the economy tide will change, only that it will. If things are good, you can bet eventually the decline of the economy will come.  If your business is to make it through the sandstorm of hard times, you have to know the warning signs.

You may think you are safe if your business is already established. While it is true that it is much harder for a new business to stay afloat during the decline of the economy, research shows that 50% of small businesses fail in the 5th year, and as many as 30% go belly up in the 10th year.

The news is depressing, but if you can spot the warning signs you have a fighting chance.  You may not be able to stop the storm, but if you can see it coming, you can at least board up the windows and ride it out with as little damage as possible.

COVID-19 and the Decline of the Economy

The federal government is working to try to stem the tide of business failures. This includes SBA Paycheck Protection Program funding. But you’re going to need to be in business to take advantage of the financing.

Demolish your funding problems with our rock-solid guide about 27 killer ways to get cash for your business. Get money even during the worst of a recession.

How do you keep your business from failing? If you are already sinking, how do you reverse the damage? Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes the decline of the economy is too much.  Don’t give up though.  If you’re taking on water, we can help you do more than scoop it out with a plastic cup.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Wherever you are in the life of your business, now is the time to set yourself up for success.  Don’t wait another day.  In order to protect your personal finances and build business credit, you need to separate your business from yourself. Doing so on the front end is easiest, but many business owners do not know the importance of this when they first start.  Building business credit is vital for the survival of your business, and protecting your own personal liability is a necessity at all times. Here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Incorporate as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation. Do not operate as a sole proprietor or partnership. If you do, you and your business appear to be one in the same.
  • Get an EIN. They are free at gov and act as an identifying number for your business, similar to your personal SSN.
  • Open a business bank account. It should be used exclusively for business expenses. This is another tip that also helps at tax time.
  • Go to the Dun & Bradstreet website and get a DUNS
  • Make sure your business has its own telephone number and address that is not your personal telephone number and address.
  • Have a professional website created that does not use a free service. The web address needs to be paid for, and you need a dedicated email address that uses the same URL as the website.  It can’t be Yahoo or Gmail or some other free email service.

These things will help you not only when it comes to taxes and liability, but also when you are trying to establish and build business credit, which is essential for the growth of a business.

Prepare for the Unknown Known

While that sounds crazy at first, there really is an unknown known out there.  The economy will take a dive.  It is a fact of life just like birth and death.  That is the known.  The unknowns are the how, why, and when.  How do you prepare for something like that?  You cover all your bases.  Here are some things that can cause a business to go down during the decline of the economy along with some tips on how to prepare for them.

Cash Gap

Prepare for this by getting your business credit in order on the front end. Establish and build business credit so you can access the cash you need to bridge the gaps that are bound to show up.  Setting up your business as a separate entity is the first step in the business credit building process.

Gaps happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are temporary timing issues, and sometimes you are leaking cash faster than a dam with a hole in it. If your business credit is strong, you can access credit cards or a business line of credit to help you shore up the leak while you look for a more permanent fix.

Without a solid business credit foundation, you will have a hard time finding the cash you need to fill the shortage, even short-term. Without access to cash a business cannot survive.

Growing Too Fast

You have to start slow. If you dive in before you are ready, you’ll cramp up and never make it to the other side. Take things one step at a time and research everything before you take the leap. Want to expand? Make sure you can handle the financing. Want to open a new location? Double check demand to make sure it’s there.

Demolish your funding problems with our rock-solid guide about 27 killer ways to get cash for your business. Get money even during the worst of a recession.

Trying to grow too much too fast is a sure plan for disaster, especially if the economy is in decline.

You Don’t Have a Plan

You had to write a business plan to get a business loan in the beginning. Even if you were solely founded on the backs of investors, they probably wanted to see a plan. It should already be there, in writing. Use it!

Work the plan you started with, tweaking as needed. It was good enough to get you started, and with minor adjustments for growth, it should be good enough to keep you going even in a decline of the economy.

Working without a plan is like heading into the dust storm naked.  If you survive, you will have much damage to repair.

Not Focusing on the Endgame

While branching out is a great thing in many cases, you can diversify too much. For example, if your specialty is pizza, and you want to add other entrees to the mix, that may be a great idea.

However, if you are a pizza shop and you decided to sell hunting equipment also, you may run into problems.

Find what you are good at and stick to it. Before you make any decisions on diversifying product lines, do the necessary research to determine whether or not that is the best plan of action.  It may sound good in theory, but will it create profit?  This is where good market research and a healthy dose of reality comes in handy.

Not Retaining Good Employees

If you have great employees, treat them right. Offer benefits, time off, fair payment, and appreciation as much as is in your power. Showing appreciation for a job well done is crucial to keeping good employees, and keeping good employees is vital to the success of a business.  This is especially true in a decline of the economy.  Starting over with new workers in hard times is not an easy task. Keeping the people that already know your business and do their jobs well is a much better recipe for success.

Is Your Business Failing in the Decline of the Economy?

Maybe it’s too late for prevention. Maybe you are already going down and you need a rescue plan. How do you know? What does it look like when a business starts to fail?

There are many warning signs, but these seem to be the most common.

  • You consistently can’t pay your bills.
  • Sales are steady but you have a ton of old receivables on the books.
  • Inventory is too high.
  • Your employees keep leaving.
  • There’s no chatter about your business.

While these aren’t always bad signs, they usually are. It might not be too late though. Let’s look at each one and see what can be done.

Inability to Meet Financial Obligations

If you have that business credit foundation we mentioned before, you can buy yourself some time here. Figure out a way to pay now, or ask creditors for more time. Then set to work figuring out the problem. Is it a timing issue? Look at getting a credit card or line of credit to bridge that gap.

Are your customers not paying? We’ll hit that in a minute. Are sales simply lagging? Find a way to increase sales! Have a sale, work harder at marketing, and improve the quality of your product or service.

Collect on Old Receivables

First, sell old invoices. Invoice factoring is a great way to get some cash fast, and if this is why you are short, it’s a suitable temporary fix. Get those accounts off the books and the cash in the bank.

Then, reconsider your credit strategy. Do you need to offer an incentive for early payment? Does there need to be tighter regulations when it comes to extending credit?

Slow Inventory Turnover

What’s up? Did you order too much? Maybe you need to have a sale to clear some of it out. Do you have too many different types of inventory? Go back to your first love, your original product, and off load the rest at a deep discount if you need to.

Employees Keep Leaving

This one is hard to fix on the back end. They aren’t happy, and trying to make them happy after the fact is almost impossible. If you have good workers, show your appreciation. They have plenty of options when it comes to places to work. Increase pay where possible and warranted. Offer as much flexibility as you can. Most of all, just show appreciation. Courtesy goes a long way. It may not be too late.

Demolish your funding problems with our rock-solid guide about 27 killer ways to get cash for your business. Get money even during the worst of a recession.

There is No Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is a powerful thing. If you have no reviews and no recommendations, that is a bad sign. Try offering incentives to those willing to leave a review. They can send you a link to the review in exchange for a discount or trinket.

Create social media chatter in a similar way. Incentives to like, share, or retweet sometimes take off like wildfire.

Even better, hire someone who specializes in this type of publicity.

Sometimes it Really is Too Late

The fact is, once a business is already failing, it is sometimes too far gone to save it. If you see the warning signs early enough and take big enough action, you may be able to make it through a decline in the economy.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Keep your eyes open. At the first sign of trouble, take action. Follow these tips, do your own research, and start working to save your business. It is yours to save. You can enlist others if you need to however. Consultants and specialists may be able to help, and certainly in many cases professionals such as accountants and those trained in marketing research can be of tremendous value.

The most important thing is to not stand by and watch. You may still become a statistic, but you don’t have to go

down without a fight. Prepare for the inevitable and be ready to act when they come.

Have an Armory of Weapons Ready for the Fight During the Decline of the Economy and Any Other Time

No one starts a business planning to fail, but if you do end up in trouble, you can at least give yourself a fighting chance during the decline of the economy.   The best time to start is now.  Establish your business as separate from yourself so you can begin to build strong business credit.

If your business does actually fail, remember those mistakes you made, learn your lessons well, and start anew. Your next business venture will only be stronger for what you learned on the last one.

 

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The Most Effective Loan Alternatives

The Most Effective Loan Alternatives

When thinking of obtaining cash, lots of people take a look at fundings as one of the most reasonable choice. It is real that fundings are frequently a great choice for obtaining cash, they are additionally stringent, and also if you are a person that desires to pay back your funding early after that there can be hefty charges. There are some options to lendings if you desire to obtain cash:

Overdraft accounts

One of the most affordable methods of obtaining cash is with the usage of an over-limit, specifically if you desire to obtain cash on a temporary basis. Over-limits are still not a good idea as a lengthy term ways of obtaining cash, as well as the quantity of credit history you can obtain is usually rather reduced.

Charge card

Credit rating cards are one of the most typical options to financings, as well as can supply you with a great resource of additional cash when required. The significant trouble with credit report cards is that the rate of interest is normally greater than a lending, and also there is a threat of obtaining as well numerous cards.

Home mortgages

Home mortgages are possibly the ideal means to obtain huge amounts of cash over a lengthy duration of time. You can include credit scores to your home loan by obtaining versus the equity in your residence as well as including that quantity to your settlements.

Work with acquisition

Employ acquisition is valuable if you are obtaining cash to acquire an auto or high worth electric items. Vehicle suppliers usually provide this approach of obtaining cash throughout the sale.
This is an excellent approach for getting an auto as the rate of interest is usually less than a regular finance, and also it is facilitated by the truth that the credit history is offered by the vendor. It is called ’employ’ acquisition since up until you complete all of the settlements, you do not have the thing, and also if you miss out on repayment the thing can be repossessed.

Which is ideal?

Choosing if among these finance options is ideal for you can be complicated, however to aid you choose you need to exercise what it is you intend to obtain cash for, how much time you intend to be repaying the cash, and also your general monetary scenario. You will certainly discover the ideal technique of credit history for your requirements if you look at all the alternatives.

When assuming regarding obtaining cash, a lot of individuals look at car loans as the most reasonable alternative. It is real that car loans are usually a great choice for obtaining cash, they are likewise stringent, as well as if you are somebody that desires to pay back your financing early after that there can be hefty fines. There are some options to lendings if you desire to obtain cash:

One of the most inexpensive means of obtaining cash is with the usage of an overdraft account, particularly if you desire to obtain cash on a temporary basis. Credit report cards are one of the most typical choices to financings, and also can give you with a great resource of additional cash when required.

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