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Personal Credit Score vs Business Credit Score: Everything You Need to Know (and More) 19 Aug 2017, 12:00 pm

With an estimated 99.95 percent of small business owners and entrepreneurs opting for debt financing, knowing how to prepare your business for a loan application is a must.

Among the documents that a lender will review, your personal credit as well as your business credit are criteria that play an important role—both can either assist, or in some cases obstruct, your ability to secure financing.

Let’s review some key strategies that everyone needs to know about personal credit score vs business credit score.

Personal Credit Score vs Business Credit Score, What’s the Difference?

These two scores are often independent of each other and they measure different things. Your personal credit score measures your creditworthiness—your personal ability to pay back a debt. On the other hand, a business credit score measures the ability of your business to meet its own financial obligations. Let’s take a look at each one in a bit more detail.

Personal Credit

What It Is

Your personal credit score helps a lender evaluate whether or not to offer you credit, how much to lend you, and what terms (e.g. APR, requirement of collateral) to use. While different personal credit scores have different ranges, one thing never changes: the higher the score, the more financially trustworthy a borrower is considered to be.

Who and What Determines Your Personal Credit Score

Using your Social Security Number (SSN) and your credit history, the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) assign your creditworthiness a score, all using variations of the FICO Score algorithm.

Ranging from 300 to 850, the FICO personal credit score is made of five key components:

  • Payment history (35%): The most important factor in a FICO score is your payment history to lenders. Your ability to pay on time is the first thing that lenders take a look at.
  • Amounts owed (30%): The whole point of seeking a high credit score is to be able to borrow money when you need to. Owing money doesn’t necessarily make you a high-risk borrower but maxing out your credit cards and carrying a high balance on them for several months will negatively affect your FICO score.
  • Length of credit history (15%): It takes time to build a good credit score. In general, the longer a credit history, the higher a FICO credit score.
  • Credit mix (10%): There are different types of debt, including retail cards, credit cards, car loans, and more. Without some form of debt, FICO can’t determine your score. So, you need to responsible use credit cards and installment loans to start (and build up!) your score.
  • New credit (10%): FICO believes that opening several new credit accounts within a short period of time increases your credit risk.

Tips to Boost Your Personal Credit Score

  1. Automate your credit payments. Since paying your lenders on time represents 35% of your FICO score, sign up for automatic payments for all of your credit accounts. Most lenders allow you to set up auto payment using your bank’s routing number and account numbers. Another option is to schedule payments using the bill payment service from your bank or a third-party payment processor, such as Mint.com or MyCheckFree.com.
  2. Adjust your due dates. You don’t have to settle for a due date that is poorly timed with your paycheck. Except for those of mortgages, most due dates can be adjusted with a quick phone call. Depending on your lender, the change may take two to three bill periods to take effect.
  3. Aim for a credit utilization ratio of 30%. Whenever you can, pay off your credit cards in full month after month. If that’s not possible, then aim to have a balance of no more than 30% than your credit limit for each card. A credit utilization ratio of under 30% across all cards is a sign for lenders that you’re managing your credit responsibly.
  4. Handle new credit carefully. Chasing too many of those deep discounts for opening store cards will eventually catch up with you. Every time that you open a new account, your FICO score takes a small hit. So, open a new card only when you really need to.
  5. Don’t close oldest accounts. The number of years that you have held each one of your cards and debts affects your length of credit history. By closing your oldest account, you may dramatically reduce your length of credit history and negatively affect personal credit score.
  6. Order your free credit report every 12 months. FICO and all lenders use your credit history to determine your creditworthiness, so making sure that your credit report is accurate is a must. Every 12 months, request your credit report. Verify that all you personal data, including SSN and mailing address, and listed accounts are correct. To dispute any inconsistencies, follow the instructions on your credit report or file a dispute online with EquifaxExperian, or TransUnion.

Business Credit

What It Is

Also known as a trade or commercial credit score, your business credit score helps financial institutions to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for debt financing. A high business credit score can improve your chances of obtaining a business loan—and likely, you’ll be able to receive much more favorable terms. Alternatively, a low score can mean higher interest rates, and in some cases, even prevent you from being eligible to borrow.

Additionally, vendors and suppliers often check your business credit score when considering whether to invoice your business on a Net 30 or Net 60 basis.

Who and What Determines Your Business Credit Score

Just like a SSN for individuals, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) allows the IRS and the credit reporting bureaus to track businesses. If your small business is incorporated and has an EIN, registering it with Equifax, Experian, or Dun & Bradstreet is the first step to establish your business credit score.

  • Equifax: Using your business’ payment history, ratio of available credit to utilized credit, age and size, demographics, and public records, Equifax scores your small business credit in a range from 101 to 992 on the Small Business Credit Risk Score for Financial Services and in a range from 101 to 816 on the Small Business Credit Risk Score for Suppliers. Equifax takes the small business owner’s personal credit score into consideration as well.
  • Experian: Ranging from 1 to 100, Experian’s business credit score takes into consideration similar factors as Equifax. Experian gathers data from lenders and vendors that have extended a credit line or loaned money to your business and compares all of that data to peers in your industry.
  • Dun & Bradstreet: Focusing on the one-year payment history of your business, a financial stress score, and other data from at least four vendors, Dunn & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX report uses a 100-point scale to rank your business credit.

Tips to Boost Your Business Score

  1. Establish credit lines with vendors and supplies. It takes data to create business credit scores and Dun & Bradstreet requires at least four vendors to generate its report. Take the time to build up relationships with vendors and suppliers so that they’re willing to sell you on credit on 30- or 60-day basis. No matter how small a vendor is, he or she may become a future trade reference for your business at the time of a loan or business credit score request.
  2. Make timely payments. Return the favor by paying to those vendors and suppliers on time at all times. This will not only help you create a solid payment history but also make those businesses and individuals more likely to report your payment history to the credit reporting bureaus.
  3. Aim to cover all your annual debt obligations with net income. Just because your business can borrow up to $100,000 from a credit line, does not mean you should borrow the full $100,000. A useful rule of thumb is that your net income (revenue after subtracting all costs of doing business) should be at least equal to your annual debt obligations. Showing that your business’ cash inflows is sufficient to meet its obligations has a positive impact on your business credit score.
  4. Request your business credit report today. Having a have a couple of months—instead of a couple weeks—makes improving your business credit a more feasible project. Building business credit takes time, so it’s useful to get a picture of what is your current score and what are areas for improvement. Some credit bureaus, such as Experian, provide you reason codes that help explain your score and provide advice on how to improve it.
  5. Track your business credit every quarter. That’s how little it can take for your score to change and can give you a heads up on a damaging report from a vendor or on the effects of an increase in your utilized credit. Take the lessons from every credit score report to learn how to become the type of borrower that a lender caters to in the future.
  6. Check your report for inaccuracies. If you find an error in your report, report it right away to the relevant bureau using supporting documentation. Pay particular attention to errors in information under public records. Bankruptcies, judgments from debt collection lawsuit, and creditor’s legal rights to seize your property in the past seven years on your report could lead to an automatic denial of your loan application.

Do I Really Need a Business Credit Score?

Yes, because a business credit score helps you in separating your business from your personal finances. During the application process, your underwriter will take a look at additional documentation, such as bank statements or business credit reports. Keeping your finances separate is important for two key reasons.

  • Tax purposes. While you can claim an extensive list of small business tax deductions, you need to provide appropriate supporting documentation. In case of an audit, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that every single deduction was an actual expense directly related to your business operation. If you’re unable to clearly demonstrate that, you may be subject to penalties, including negligence, late payment, and fraud.
  • Liability for debts: If your business is structured as a corporation or limited liability company, documenting that your finances are separate prevents a creditor from having a stake on your personal assets to satisfy a debt.

How to Do It

  1. Establish a separate legal entity for your business. Choose a business legal structure that works best for your unique situation. If you’re considering to form a corporation, consult with a lawyer and accountant to have a good understanding of applicable rules, including those for tax reporting, compliance, and operation.
  2. Apply for an EIN online for free. You will need this to stay on top of your small business finances, report to the IRS, and establish your business credit score.
  3. Establish a business credit score. Because it’s supporting evidence that demonstrates your business’ payment history. It doesn’t hurt that it will also help you secure the necessary debt financing to fuel the growth of your business.
  4. Open a business checking account and credit card. Using your EIN, establish separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business. The statements from these accounts are appropriate supporting documentation to keep track of business expenses.
  5. Hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant. Commingling your finances can backfire at the time of tax filing or loan application. It’s possible that you misunderstand what would be considered personal debt.  Could be you have business debts you’ve forgotten to include in your financial statements. Hiring the services of a professional bookkeeper or accountant enables you to focus on the core operations of your business. It also helps you better meet compliance requirements. When evaluating bookkeepers and accountants, pay close attention to their schedule of fees and range of services.

Personal Credit Score vs Business Credit Score: Everything You Need to Know (and More) was originally published on Due by Samantha Novick.

The post Personal Credit Score vs Business Credit Score: Everything You Need to Know (and More) appeared first on KillerStartups.

GetBusy: A Document Management App That Does It All For Your Business On One Platform 17 Aug 2017, 1:49 pm

There are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of platforms and apps on the market that are designed for your use as a business. They do everything from consolidate communication with your remote team, to allow you to create estimates and invoices, to adding digital signatures to documents. But how many apps and programs do you really want to manage – especially when most of them don’t talk to each other?

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 8.34.47 AM

GetBusy, a new offshoot startup of well-established Australian company Reckon, has what they think is the solution: one platform for everything a business needs. Recently listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM Market for small but growing companies, GetBusy’s team built their new product in secret. Their recently announced document management platform is so much more – it allows all interaction between a client and a service provider to take place over one platform. It even automatically prompts the user to complete certain actions at the relevant times, and will also give the option of postponing the task, while letting the customer know what is happening.

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 8.34.56 AM

As an example – if you’re a plumber, you can use the app to schedule a time with the customer to go to their house to view the project. Afterwards, you may need to give your customer a quote. The app will automatically remind you, and then if you need to postpone the quote (say, if you’re checking the cost of materials), the app will let the customer know when they can expect to hear from you.

Features

GetBusy doesn’t go into a lot of detail on their site about their app’s features, but that’s because most of them are pretty self-explanatory. Their new document management app does just that – manage documents – but also includes:

  • Invoicing
  • Cloud Storage
  • Keeping track of tasks that need to be accomplished
  • Digital signatures capability
  • Quotes and estimates
  • Online 0ffice
  • Customer communication

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 8.35.11 AM

Interested?

Get Busy’s Pre-Beta Signup is now officially open for early signups! Bonus: if you sign up early, you can win some great swag (t-shirts, lifetime subscriptions, keep cups, fidget spinners, skateboards, etc). Personally? I’m about to dive head first into freelancing/running my own business, and I’ve already signed up for their beta. I’m looking forward to gettin’ busy.

 

Photos

ISO Republic | GetBusy

The post GetBusy: A Document Management App That Does It All For Your Business On One Platform appeared first on KillerStartups.

8 Signs You’re Not Cut Out To Be Self-Employed 15 Aug 2017, 12:00 pm

Whether you’ve ever wanted become self-employed as either a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business owner, you’re not alone. A whooping 70% of Americans have had the same desire. The reality, however, is that just 10% of the active workforce in America is self-employed. Most of them are not cut out to be self-employed.

What’s the deal? Why is there such a gap?

Unfortunately, there isn’t just a one-size-fits-all answer. Maybe you’re concerned about health insurance or retirement. Maybe you you don’t want to deal with the stress or long hours. Or, perhaps you just don’t want to take the risk.

Regardless of the reason, it’s never a bad idea to make sure that you have what it takes to be self-employed. You don’t want to invest too much time or money into a business idea. You might not cut out to be self-employed.

Before taking the leap into self-employment, here are 8 signs that you’re just not cut out to be your own boss.

1. You don’t like the thought of irregular income.

When you’re an employee you have a regular and consistent income – until you’ve earned a raise. That’s not the case when you’re self-employed. There will be times when you won’t receive a paycheck since you have to pay your expenses, like utilities, taxes, and employees, first. And, as if that wasn’t stressful enough, it’s your responsibility to create and send invoices, along with chasing down clients who don’t pay.

If you prefer or need to have a stable and guaranteed paycheck, and not about things like taxes and chasing down payments, then self-employment isn’t the answer. Until you work-out-of-the-kinks, you can expect an irregular income.

2. You need to have a daily routine.

Are the type of person that needs to have a daily routine? Then stick with the 9-to-5 gigs. While there certain habits that you can control, like when you wake-up and what you do before you head into work, you never know what the next workday is going to bring. Maybe you have to cover for a sick employee or your computer crashes. Those little hiccups can drastically change your daily agenda.

Self-employed individual don’t need a daily routine because they’re flexible and thrive on these types of stressful situations.

3. Not Cut Out Because You’re afraid to leave your comfort zone.

Self-employed individuals are known for being risk-takers and stepping outside of their comfort zone. As mentioned above, that’s because your daily routine is unknown and full of new experiences. If that bothers you and you’re unwilling to step outside of your comfort zone, then you’re definitely not meant to be your own boss.

As Brian Tracy once said, “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

4. You get easily distracted.

One of the best perks about being self-employed is that you get to work wherever you want. For example, if you’re a freelance writer you can set-up shop in your favorite cafe or in the comfort of your own living room.

However, that freedom comes with a price. There are dishes and laundry that need to be taken care of, washed and put away. Friends will be texting or stepping by. Your dog wants to play. Facebook notifications to view. A new season of Daredevil to watch on Netflix.

If those distractions prevent you from being productive, then you may want to stick with a traditional gig that eliminates these types of distractions because being self-employed requires discipline and laser focus.

5. You have stage fright.

At some point you’re going to have to do a little self-promotion for your business. Whether it’s pitching your idea to investors, having lunch with a potential client, speaking at an industry event, or hosting a video tutorial, you’re going to have to speak in front of others.

If that frightens you, then you could take a public speaking class or join an organization like Toastmasters. But, if you want to completely avoid the spotlight, that can be a serious problem when it comes time to promote and market your business.

6. You thrive on appreciation.

I can tell you with all honesty that as a self-employed individual you rarely get a pat-on-the-back. You don’t get recognized for your hard work and dedication. Never receive an award. You don’t have any colleagues or managers cheering you on.

The self-employed don’t do it for the praise or recognition. They’re driven by something more important: passion.

If you’re the type of person that needs to be appreciated and recognized, then self-employment isn’t meant for you.

7. You can’t explain the steps of shoe tying.

Like tying your shoes for the first time, running a business is complicated. Successful business owners have a knack for taking a big idea and implementing it by making it easy-to-understand and relatable. They know how to delegate tasks and explain to others what exactly they’re looking for.

In other words, if you’re the type of person you has difficulty breaking down actionable steps, then self-employment probably isn’t your cup of tea.

8. Your spouse isn’t on-board.

Your spouse has to be 100% committed to your you becoming self-employed. It affects them just as much as it does you. It’s their savings you’re investing. Their home that may be used as collateral. It’s their lifestyle that is changing. And, whether you realize it or not, they own 50% of your business as well.

In other words, if your spouse isn’t on-board, then it’s pretty much going to be impossible to start your own business because you need them to be involved too. Your other option? Get a divorce.

If that’s not a sacrifice you want to make, then don’t toy around with the idea of being self-employed.

Conclusion

Those who are self-employed can live with an irregular income, stress, and stepping out of the comfort zone. They also don’t need praise and they have excellent communication skills. Most importantly, they have the support of their spouse.

If that doesn’t sound like you, but you still want to chase your passion, you can always start a side gig. For instance, you could take your love of building birdhouses up-a-notch by selling them on Etsy. You could start blogging or freelance writing if you want to share your knowledge and experience.

Sure. In this case, you’re still technically self-employed. But, it’s more of a hobby that doesn’t have the risk involved like opening up a restaurant.

Signs You’re Not Cut Out To Be Self-Employed was originally published on Due by John Rampton.

The post 8 Signs You’re Not Cut Out To Be Self-Employed appeared first on KillerStartups.

10 Habits to Give Up to Become Happy as a Business Owner 12 Aug 2017, 12:00 pm

How can you introduce a little bit more happiness into your life? You may need to give up several things to become happy. To become happier, most people focus on adding things.

The real key to happiness is actually giving up certain perspectives and behaviors. Some people try to achieve happiness by masking it with a temporary purchase or some extra activity.

Want to know where to start? Here are 10 things that you need give up in order to become a happier individual.

1. Give up the overtime.

I get it. You need the money. Maybe you don’t want to say “no” to your boss or you’re a workaholic. Regardless of the exact reason, you need to stop working so much if you want to increase your happiness.

Several studies have found that consistently working overtime can effect your mental health. Overwork hurts your well being since it can cause you to develop depression and anxiety.

Additionally, we all need a healthy work-life balance. A balanced life gives us a chance to recharge and unwind. Even time with our friends and family helps us relax, even if they tend to cause work.

Remember, there’s more to life than work.

2. Bad Habits to Give Up – Ditch the negative self-talk.

Studies estimate that we say 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves every single minute. That’s a pretty good indication that the most destructive force in the universe can be, well, ourselves.

It’s easy to fall into the rabbit-hole of negative self-talk when things go wrong. But negative self-talk can gain a devastating hold on you, as well as your psyche. Saying mean things to yourself personally can literally take away any chance of becoming happy.

Instead of wallowing in a poor habit of  gloomy self talk, follow the steps of the Navy Seals. These men and women practice positive self-talk and repeat positive affirmations.

For example, if you’re stressed at work, take a walk outside and remind yourself that everything is alright. Remind yourself that you can handle the situation. Speak encouragingly to your best self, like a fine boss would.

3. Give up your need for control.

You have to be willing to give up your need to try to control every aspect of your life. It’s understandable to want to keep total control of everything. We get consumed by our schedules and even attempt to modify the behavior of others.

Some try to create predictability by controlling things that are not within our hands. This type of control is the type that develops into anxiety and chaos in our lives.

It’s challenging, but you need to accept everyone and everything the way they currently are — right at this moment. You’ll be a lot happier and everyone around you will be happier too.

4. Stop the habit of blaming others.

Blame is often the scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for your own actions and their consequences. Think about it. It’s a whole lot easier to point the finger at someone or something else.

Instead take a chance and start looking in the mirror.

Blame is not constructive and it’s not going to help you in the end. Reserve the energy and stress that it takes to participate in the blame for finding a solution to a problem.

5. Do away with the negativity of others.

Negativity, like a real nasty cold — it’s contagious. We’re social creatures and inevitably we will adopt the habits and values of the people closest to us. Surrounding yourself with with positive, passionate, motivated, supportive, and aspirational people.

It’s impossible to completely remove the negative emotions of those around you. We’re all going to have a bad day ourselves so it’s important to spend less time with the chronic complainers. Watch and be more aware of your own emotional well-being.

6. Give up FOMO.

Richard Branson once said that “opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming!”

Are you the type of person who is constantly submerged by the fear of missing out (FOMO)? If you fear missing out all the time you’ll decrease your happiness. You’ll also be adopting a short-term outlook on your own life.

Branson is well-aware that he has limited resources and time. He carefully evaluates each and every opportunity that he comes across, even if it doesn’t pan out.

At least he is happy and content in knowing that there’s another opportunity around the corner. Branson doesn’t limit himself by feeling guilty or sad.

7. Stop trying to impress others.

Stop putting so much effort in to being something that you’re not. Are you trying to make others like you? It’s important that you like yourself for who you really are.

While trying to improve, you can still practice being your own best friend. What does being your own best friend look like? Are you kind to yourself? Do you help and encourage yourself?

Put the facade away and just be yourself. You can be you good self. You don’t have to make sure that everyone sees your bad self. You’ll save a ton of energy and will quickly notice that people are more attracted to authenticity than BS.

8. Give up feeling entitled.

This may seem brutal, but no one owes you anything. Mom and Dad don’t owe you. The boss and the company don’t owe you. The professor and the school don’t owe you. Your brother and sister don’t owe you. Only you owe yourself something great.

When you approach life with the mentality that you’re owed something, you’ll quickly discover that you’re going to be disappointed time and time again.

When you work your tail off and are grateful for what you have, you’ll start to live life in a new way. You’ll see things in a new light and appreciate what you’ve accomplished.

It’s an amazingly powerful and uplifting experience to live this way. Give it a try by jotting down what you’re grateful for every day.

9. Stop trying to be perfect.

You don’t want to deliver sloppy work and make mistakes, but you will make errors. You can’t expect to be perfect 24/7, it’s unrealistic. Those who expect perfection of themselves generally become a serious roadblock on their journey to happiness.

It’s been found that perfectionism can lead to becoming more anxious in social settings. It can prevent you from trying out new things.

Trying to be perfect hinders your ability to form long-term relationships. Bottling up feelings of self-doubt can bring on more feelings of worthlessness.

Accepting that sometimes good is good enough, is helpful. You may want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy if you are caught in a loop of negativism.

10. Give up your scarcity mindset.

The scarcity mindset comes from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People;

“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. They also have a hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.”

Simply put, the idea behind the scarcity mindset is that there simply isn’t enough to go around.

For example, there can only be one raise at work since there’s not enough money to give everyone a raise. As a result, this type of mindset can lead to more short-term thinking and can create sadness and jealousy. We will act out poorly and according to those feelings.

If you want to become happier, and more successful, Covey believed that you should embrace an abundance mindset.

“The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. This results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.”

Change your mindset, you’ll be able to focus on the long term and create more positive feelings towards others.

What have you given up to become more happy?

10 Habits to Give Up to Become Happy as a Business Owner was originally published on Due by John Rampton.

The post 10 Habits to Give Up to Become Happy as a Business Owner appeared first on KillerStartups.

Yumami Lets You Search For Recipes Based On What You Have On Hand 9 Aug 2017, 2:01 pm

When it comes to adulting, I have most of it down: I pay my bills, I meet my deadlines, and I can navigate insurance and health care. I even own some stock. But when it comes to the kitchen, I fail. Sure, I can follow a recipe, but meal planning – choosing recipes, buying ingredients, actually cooking and using them before they go bad – isn’t really something I’ve figured out how to do consistently. I think I’ve grocery shopped three or four times in 2017 so far. I’m always impressed by people who are good at – and enjoy – cooking, and especially people who can look in the fridge and make a meal from what they have. Those handful of times I went shopping and didn’t meal plan? Half of the food went bad because I would open the fridge, look in, go “I have nothing to eat,” and close the fridge.

Whether you love to cook or hate it, sometimes you need to just throw together some dinner with what you have on hand, or risk wasting food. If you’re like me and not great with improving in the kitchen, Yumami can help you find recipes quickly and easily.

Yumami

Using their simple search bar, you can search recipe by keyword or by ingredients, and get personalized recommendations. You can choose to include – or not – how much time you have. With other half a million recipes at your fingertips, there are plenty of options for every meal. Just looking for ideas? You can also browse through two categories of recipes: popular, and quick & easy. They have everything from Ginger Peach Green Tea Smoothies to Herbed Garlic Bread to Citrus Lamb Roast With Buttery Carrots.

Yumami also allows you to save your favorite recipes into your personal cookbook and share with friends. Signing in is easy, with the ability to just connect your account to either your Facebook or Google. The user interface is easy and beautiful, and all of the meals look delicious and appetizing.

Yumami recipes

Best of all? Yumami is entirely free. So if you’re having a bit of trouble with the kitchen and food part of adulting, check it out for some fresh ideas based on what you have on hand. I know I’ll be trying it out!

Photos

ISO Republic | Yumami

The post Yumami Lets You Search For Recipes Based On What You Have On Hand appeared first on KillerStartups.

Is It Time To Reframe Your Definition Of Success? 8 Aug 2017, 12:00 pm

Hands up if you’re semi-addicted to stories of successful people and businesses. I know I am. I want to peel back the cover of all my favorite businesses. How did they achieve success? What did they do to get where they are?

We all want to get paid on time and earn the big bucks. We all want to live our dreams. There are many roads to the top of the mountain. We’ve all read stories of the CEO who worked 17 hour days for the first three years, or the founder who slept in their office. They achieved huge success- but at what cost?

This is not a dress rehearsal. Each day you spend missing your kids’ soccer games, or not returning your mother’s phone call is a day you won’t get back. And while success is the goal, it is not a guarantee. So is it time to reframe your definition of success?

What Does Success Look Like To You?

When I first started freelance writing, success looked like getting enough clients to quit my day job and freelance full time. It took me about six months to build my client roster and save enough that I felt comfortable making the leap.

Quitting my job was a moment of success. I was able to do something I loved full time. I was my own boss. Even though my income hadn’t skyrocketed, even though I was still hustling every month, I was a successful writer.

Likewise, these days I feel it’s a marker of success when I get paid on time and have clients that I like working for. Doing good work for clients I enjoy and who see fit to pay me on time is part of my definition of success.

Reading all those stories about people who have climbed to the top of the mountain can make it seem like millions of dollars and a cover of Forbes is the only way to define success. That’s not true. Success can look many different ways. You don’t need to follow someone else’s exact footsteps and live their life. What does it look like to you?

How Are You Attaining Success?

Take a look at how you spend your time. It’s important to put in hard work on the job front, don’t get me wrong. I am the first one to tell you that nothing works unless you do.

Are you working at the expense of other parts of your life, like your family or your health? How you attain success is just as important as what you do when you get there. Instead of building an empire in a manner that makes you unhealthy, unhappy, and possibly an unpleasant person to be around, stay true to your definition of success.

If it takes you a little longer to reach your dream income number or your dream client roster, but you’ve enjoyed the time it takes you to get there, how can you say you’ve failed? Life is so much more than an income number.

Your definition of success is the only one that matters. As addicted as I am to the stories of how other people did it, I want to carve my own path to the top of that mountain. Maybe I’ll see you on the way up.

Is It Time To Reframe Your Definition Of Success? was originally published on Due by Kara Perez.

The post Is It Time To Reframe Your Definition Of Success? appeared first on KillerStartups.

Poker is Becoming a Team Sport with Team Poker® 7 Aug 2017, 5:39 pm

There’s no “I” in “team,” but there is a “team” in Team Poker®.

Team Poker is creating what it calls a “paradigm shift” in the way poker is played. Using their patented Team Scoring System, the online poker platform gives players the option to compete solo or form teams. Team players win percentages of their prize pools based on both their individual performance and the combined performance of their teammates.With team play, the Team Poker team says, skill is more of a factor in your success. Not to mention, the experience of playing as a team enhances the social dimension of the game. It’s poker for the Facebook age.

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You might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute: doesn’t letting people play as a team make it easy for teammates to gang up on solo players?” Team Poker has a solution for that: their patent-pending Team Poker Seating Protocol ensures that teammates are never on the same table unless they are the only players at the table, either can playing heads-up, among themselves, or as the only players left in the tournament.

Team Poker offers seven different levels, so you can choose the level of intensity that’s right for you. The starter “Clubs” level is free to play, while each additional level TiP, Hearts, Diamond, Spade, Quasar, and finally Supernova asks users to buy in for a higher cost per month.

No online experience in the 21st century is complete without a profile, and Team Poker lets you create custom profiles and avatars, plus track how you rank by wins & losses or by points within your league.

Looking to brush up on your skills before you play for stakes? With the Beat the Bots training program, you can practice against poker bots without the risk of losing money.

Want to do some good while you take opponents for all they’re worth? The free TP Fundraising Tool™ gives players and teams the ability to compete in TP events for donations that go directly to 501(c)(3) charity organizations and sports teams. The bragging rights, of course, are yours.

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Team Poker is currently Beta testing its free services. The game is available for download for Windows, MacOSX, and Ubuntu, with versions for iOS and Android coming soon. Interested players can learn more and register by heading to teampoker.com.
The company is also in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the site. To learn more about what’s next for the company, and access some exclusive Team Poker perks and discounts, go to the Indiegogo campaign here.

 

Photo Credits

Team Poker / Shutterstock

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3 Proven Ways to Increase Sales Numbers 5 Aug 2017, 12:00 pm

After diving into Russell Brunsun’s “Dot Com Secrets,” I’ve been thinking a lot about how to increase sales numbers. This is especially important to me as I move away from selling services and take a step toward selling digital products.

While I haven’t finished the book yet, I did start implementing some of the strategies I’ve learned about thus far. Additionally, I’ve been working with a mentor all year to help me systematize and scale.

As we move into the second half of the year, much of what I learned has increased sales numbers in my business. Here’s what I’ve implemented so far and how it’s working.

Email your list every day.

In his book, Russell Brunsun mentions a concept called “Seinfeld Emails.” Basically, you send emails to your list every day. These emails are mostly about nothing (Because Seinfeld was a show about nothing. Get it?), but they always have a call to action to one of your products or services.

I started experimenting with this a couple of months ago and I’m happy to report that I’ve increased sales numbers because of it. Here are the specific ways this method has led to more money:

  • I’ve sold half the seats to my first digital program even before going into full launch mode.
  • I’ve increased book sales.
  • I’ve increased sales for one of my digital courses.

Sometimes, I don’t have an actual product to sell.  In fact, I’ve also sent Seinfeld emails encouraging people to book consult calls or join my Facebook group. The point is I communicate with my list every single day.

Record client testimonial videos.

Another strategy that has significantly increased my sales is interviewing some of my clients in five-minute videos. This alone accounted for an almost immediate sale for my digital program which is almost $2000.

This was also an eye opening experience for me as a business owner. Like many business owners, I work very hard. Sometimes it’s to the point where I don’t even notice how my business changes people’s lives. By doing these videos, I was able to see how my business helps people and it made me more confident when selling.The secret to these videos is to make them seem real. There’s no need to make a production here. Just let your clients tell their story of how you improved their lives. It may seem very simple, but this alone will increase sales numbers almost insta

The secret to these videos is to make them seem real. There’s no need to make a production here. Just let your clients tell their story of how you improved their lives. It may seem very simple, but this alone will increase sales numbers almost instantaneously.

Have an inexpensive upsell at various customer touch points.

There are plenty of opportunities where business owners can sell a product or a service, they just need to be conscious of them. Once they become conscious of the opportunity, they need to be strategic with their product placements.

There are two main places were I’ve been practicing upsells. The first is the Thank You Page after someone opts-in to a free worksheet, presentation or webinar. I haven’t quite mastered this one yet but I’m getting there.

The second is after someone goes through my application process for coaching. If they aren’t a good fit based on a points system, I refer them to my book and sell it as a self-study program.

This small tweak alone has weeded out people who aren’t a good fit for private coaching while also increasing book sales.

And, of course, when selling directly from a landing page, makes sure to offer multiple payment methods on the spot. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.

Final Thoughts

The way to increase sales numbers is to let people know your business exists. After that, show people what it is you can do. And finally, be strategic about where you place products for sale. By following these three steps, you’ll increase your sales numbers in no time just like I have.

 

Proven Ways to Increase Sales Numbers was originally published on Due by Amanda Abella.

The post 3 Proven Ways to Increase Sales Numbers appeared first on KillerStartups.

Tier 1 Apps Makes Apps Accessible to Local Businesses, Small Startups 4 Aug 2017, 5:49 pm

These days it seems like we have an app for everything from getting a taxi to tracking your sleep to managing fertility. It’s become par for the course that people can download an app for any business they interact with – whether it’s small and local or a giant chain. And while customers love and expect apps from the places the frequent, they’re also a great idea from a business standpoint.

Tier1App logo

It used to be time-consuming, not to mention prohibitively expensive, to develop an app for your business – you had to hire a programmer and spend months in development before you had a usable app you could release to your customers, making it difficult for anyone other than the largest of companies to take advantage of newer technology and mobile marketing opportunities. Tier 1 Apps is changing all that, allowing you to build beautiful, powerful mobile apps in minutes for reasonable prices with their wizard. It’s as simple as filling in a few forms and clicking save.

Tier 1 Apps also offers an affiliate program and a new, already popular reseller program, so you can either refer folk or create apps through their platform and resell them to restaurants, realtors, etc.

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Features

Along with features you might expect to see on the platform, such as lots of color and design options, google maps and directions options, customer feedback, email/call us functions, and the ability to create custom forms, add restaurant menus, add products to a shopping cart, etc, Tier 1 Apps has a number of recently released features that will make your app even more useful and engaging:

Social Integration – Include your social media links so customers can quickly and easily find you on their preferred platform. Tier 1 Apps currently fully supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Pinterest, and Zomato.

Scratch Off Contests – You can offer prizes to customers when they sign into your app using the touch screen scratch off feature. Contests and prizes are a great way to engage your customers and give them incentive to sign into the app again and again.

Event Promotion – For DJs, venues, and event organizers, Tier 1 App’s event promotion feature is great for getting out the details about your event quickly and easily, resulting in more.

Text Message Marketing – Easily send out text messages – not easily ignorable push notifications – to your customers to alert them about sales, contests, etc.

Digital Business Cards – Digital vCards are the latest technology to hit web apps, and make it super easy to share all your contact info with your customers with just a click of a button.

Multi-Language – The app builder allows you to choose from English, Spanish, or French, currently. Hopefully more options will be added in the future, but it’s great to see that they’re starting off with more than just English as an option.

Interested?

If you’ve been wishing for an easy way to create an app for your business at a price you can afford, Tier 1 Apps is for you. Pricing for this app builder starts at $79/month or $499/year for the Standard package. All of their packages include access to their app wizard and all the features, google analytics integration, and premium support, and mostly vary in how many apps they allow you to create.

 

Photo Credits

Tier 1 Apps

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Honeyfi – No Need To Fear Managing Money As A Couple 31 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

All couples must have tough discussions (if not many arguments) about money. Doesn’t matter how in love you are or how well you work together or even how much you have in the bank – the joint management of finances puts enormous pressure on couples and exposes weaknesses. If couples don’t find a way to constructively talk about and agree on finances, the relationship likely will decline or end.

 

Honeyfi is a free app that makes it easier to manage money as a couple. Honeyfi lets couples link bank accounts and credit cards to see what money they have together and where money is being spent. Partners can choose what to share with each other and both organize and consolidate household finances in the app. They can also comment on transactions and message their partner to better keep each other informed.

 

honeyfi landing

 

But Honeyfi does more than facilitate transparency and collaboration. Based on previous spending, Honeyfi suggests a shared budget and identifies trends. It’s helpful to have these insights come from outside the couple. It makes things less personal and gives partners a way to discuss money habits as data rather than individual behavior.

 

There are so many ways that money can damage a couple. If one person is good at managing money and the other isn’t, that difference can be difficult to overcome. Honeyfi prevents frustration for both types. People who are really good at budgeting – who insist on it – can get the details they need from their financially challenged half in order to make the couple financially stronger. The person who struggles with money, can help out with little or no effort and better see how improved money management benefits the couple.

 

It’s easy to put money management off for later in the course of a relationship, which can lead to painful realizations and conflict. Buying a house, children and their education, travel, dinner out vs. out of the kitchen – couples face constant financial decisions. Honeyfi is a great tool to align efforts and begin discussions sooner rather than later. And since financial counseling can be either expensive or intimidating, a free app is a simple, familiar and absolutely affordable resource.

 

Honeyfi is the product of “a group of mission-driven spouses, partners, bankers, technologists, and startup veterans,” with a simple goal: to “empower couples and families to make better financial decisions.” To learn more or get the app, visit honeyfi.com.

 

Photo Credits

Honeyfi | Milles Studio/Shutterstock | Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

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Veterans: Here Are the Best Places to Find Financing for Your Business 29 Jul 2017, 12:00 pm

Veteran-owned businesses have long been a key part of the American economic engine. Following World War II, an incredible 49.7 percent of returning veterans went on to start their own business. Today, according to the most recent census data, there are 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses in the United States, contributing $1.22 trillion in sales each year to the national economy.

These numbers show how important veteran entrepreneurs are to the American economy and society.

If you’re a veteran running or planning to start a business, understand that having sufficient capital on hand is crucial to the success of your company. Unfortunately, challenges to obtaining financing have been among the reasons why fewer veterans are starting businesses today than after Word War II.

Fortunately, there are still many resources for veterans to fund their venture:

1. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA has a wealth of resources available to help veterans start and grow a business. The Office of Veterans Business Development supports and empowers existing and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses through a variety of training programs, like Boots to Business and financial services.

The SBA also offers financing help to veterans through the following programs and services:

  • SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans: Along with small business loans, the SBA offers training courses and counseling to ensure military veterans or their spouses have proper support. Loans of $150,000 or less have no guaranty fee, as the SBA hopes to remove some of the stress involved with borrowing to start a business. Larger loans for eligible veterans and spouses usually have low guarantee fees. The business must be 51 percent owned by an eligible active military member, veteran, or military spouse.
  • SBA Express Loans: As of 2015, there is no upfront borrower fee for eligible veterans and military spouses on loans up to $35,000.
  • Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC): Think of LINC as like a matchmaking service for obtaining small business loans. Search on the site, and you’ll be connected with SBA-approved non-profit lenders.

2. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Like the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, the Department of Veteran Affairs is a comprehensive resource for veteran entrepreneurs. To help streamline the financing process, the department has created the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP), which can help you quickly identify financing resources for your business and then apply.

In general, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is a great starting point for looking for financing. The department keeps updated and relevant information for veterans and can guide you go suitable sources of funding for your small business.

3. International Franchise Association (IFA) – VetFran®

The IFA has what’s called the VetFran® program, which is designed to help veterans start their own business. To date, more than 600 franchises participate in the program, including famous brands like Liberty Tax Service, Sport Clips, Firehouse Subs, and Jiffy Lube.

While these aren’t traditional business loans for veterans, the VetFran® program offers financial incentive for veterans to launch a franchise. All the companies listed make it less expensive for veteran entrepreneurs to open up a franchise.

For instance, UPS participates in the program and offers veterans $10,000 off the franchise fee, as well as 50% off the initial application fee. 7-Eleven, another participant in the VetFran® program, offers up to 20% off the initial franchise fee, up to 65% financing through 7-Eleven, and even special financing offers.

4. Organizations and resources for veteran entrepreneurs

As a veteran, it’s vital to use all the resources available to you to find financing for your business. In addition to lenders, know that there are a lot of support organizations and resource centers out there for you.

The following resource centers and organizations are quite reputable:

5. Lenders who focus on veteran entrepreneurs

Since there are so many lenders operating in the small business space, it can be difficult to know which ones will offer you fair terms and rates. Thankfully, there are a number reputable lenders out there who work specifically to  provide small business loans for veterans.

While there still needs to be increased access to funding for veteran-entrepreneurs, veteran-focused lenders popping up more than ever.

6. Specialized small business loans for veterans

Given your situation, you may also qualify for specialized small business loans for veterans.

One of the most common specialized loans for veterans is the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This loan helps active-duty military personnel and reservists who have to leave a business behind when their country calls. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan is a low-interest loan that can help you run your business smoothly again when you return.

If you’re looking to fund an agricultural operation, research the USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant. Run by the Department of Agriculture, this grant program aims to bring traditionally underserved people into farming through training and technical and financial assistance. Awards for veteran farmers vary by state.

Get the funding you need to succeed

While securing funding a veteran can feel overwhelming, know there are ton of resources out there to help you get started and secure the funding you need.

You’ve made sacrifices for our country, so take advantage of all that’s available to you, especially those resources designed specifically for veterans. Funding challenges shouldn’t prevent you from turning your business idea into a wonderful success.  

Veterans: Here Are the Best Places to Find Financing for Your Business was originally published on Due by Meredith Wood.

The post Veterans: Here Are the Best Places to Find Financing for Your Business appeared first on KillerStartups.

VYPER – Quickly Power Your Business Growth To New Heights 28 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

The movie Bottle Rocket has one of my favorite dialogue exchanges in all art. Dignan (Owen Wilson) says to Bob (Robert Musgrave): “Bob Mapplethorpe, potential getaway driver, go…” And after struggling to sell his character strengths, Bob says, “…I’m just not that good at this selling yourself stuff, okay, so I’m just gonna tell you the truth. I really want to be a part of this team… and I’m the only one with a car.” “That’s good. Because that hits me right here,” says Dignan, pointing to his heart.

 

Life works much the same way for many businesses. They have a product or service that no one else has. They are earnest about building the company and truly want to improve peoples’ lives. They’re just not experts at selling themselves or generating excitement in others.

 

This is where VYPER comes in. VYPER is a growth hacking toolkit – software designed to help your company create viral growth via contests, giveaways, content upgrades, popups and more.

 

vyper landing

 

At the heart of VYPER is incentivization and gamification technology that does the heavy lifting – helping companies setup and run campaigns, and ultimately boost engagement to maximum levels. Read: VYPER grows more leads and sales for your business.

 

VYPER equips companies to run contests designed to spark signups and referrals. The software assists with putting together the likes of a contest landing page and leaderboard. A leaderboard encourages friendly social competition and enables participants to unlock rewards according to their actions.

 

Basically, VYPER simplifies the work of offering perks in exchange for social shares and email sing ups. For brands that don’t know how to interact with customers (potential and existing) – or can’t build engagement as much as they would like on their own – VYPER gives them the means to do so directly. VYPER puts social sharing and interaction at the core of marketing efforts. VYPER knows how to help you generate excitement and encourage brand loyalty.

 

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Why is it so important to stimulate your customers to talk you up and bring others onboard? As the team at VYPER points out, studies from the Wharton School of Business show that customers who refer others or are referred themselves have a 20% higher lifetime value than normal customers.

 

VYPER is geared for generating phenomenal traffic through ‘word-of-mouth’ tactics. It’s built to support contests on either mobile devices or desktop. And the software takes the guesswork out of knowing when to offer bonus content or content upgrades by integrating automatic triggers based on customer action.

 

Tired of stagnate growth? Need help expanding your email list and driving sales? Explore the VYPER toolkit in greater detail at vyper.io. Plans begin at $29 per month, and start with a free 7-day trial.

 

Photo Credits

VYPER | Arthimedes/Shutterstock

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Find Truly Local Events With Ease Using VSPOTZ 27 Jul 2017, 3:00 pm

“I wish I had known about that happening last night, I would have gone.” And, “I’m so bored. I don’t have anything to do.” There is no good reason to ever hear these phrases spoken again.

 

Never mind Google search, Facebook, and so many other familiar Internet tools. Don’t even think about blaming your favorite coffee shop running out of the weekly pub with a social calendar for your lack of plans on a Friday night. You should know what events are taking place in your neighborhood, with just a few taps on your cell phone or keyboard. With VSPOTZ, you should always be on top of what’s going down around you and always be able to find something local to do.

 

VSPOTZ is “a local event search engine and web application that allows users to search for events by location.” What sets it apart from other tools focused on local discovery? VSPOTZ directs you to truly local events, not just events slated in the nearest city or metropolitan area.

 

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Cities tend to do a good job of promoting themselves and enjoy substantial media coverage for their local scene. If you’re outside of a major hub…? Not so much. Event search engines tend to provide users with results oriented around the nearest major destination – which may or may not be ‘local’. We’ve still been lacking a comprehensive local search engine that works regardless of where you live.

 

VSPOTZ has stepped up to the plate, making it easy for anyone to find event information in their local area. Users can search by event, venue, state, category, or what’s happening today. This means that, with minimal effort, you can learn about nearby events in advance. Find out about all those small community gatherings, concerts, fairs, markets, and other activities that previously have mostly taken luck or insider knowledge to know about and attend. You can also turn to VSPOTZ whenever you find yourself with free time, to check out what’s going on that day. Whether you’re a planner or like to do things spontaneously, VSPOTZ ensures that you can find all the events of interest to you where you live, anytime.

 

With an internet connection, you’ll always be able to know about local events thanks to VSPOTZ. Ready to never miss out on free wine tastings, game nights, seasonal bashes and other fun local activities? Visit vspotz.com to begin searching for local events.

 

Photo Credits

VSPOTZ | siriwat sriphojaroen/Shutterstock

The post Find Truly Local Events With Ease Using VSPOTZ appeared first on KillerStartups.

Artletica Rolls Out Extraordinary Exercise Mats 27 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

The practice of yoga offers a beautiful journey of self-awakening and self-correction. Not that the journey is always pretty, or that the average yoga mat is of great help. If you enter a studio with any joint or limb pain, a slab of sheet metal provides similar cushioning. If you perspire (at some point of each class, you almost always will), your mat will feel better suited for a water slide than helping you to sustain poses.

 

And a mat that causes frustration is counterproductive to say the least. Which is why aspiring yogis will rejoice to learn about Artletica, an athletic products company specializing in artistically designed yoga mats and apparel.

 

Collage for KS

 

Artletica Founder Alex Vainer shares the experience that drove him to create the company: “Throughout my yoga practice, I found that most yoga mats were often plain and flavorless. The few mats that did have a design were of poor quality and hardly struck me with their charm. I was missing the artistic touch and creativity that a superb mat should encompass. Therefore, I embarked on a journey to create just that – an eco-friendly, high-quality exercise mat that was stunning in design.”

 

More than 400 people submitted over 1,000 designs in an international contest that resulted in the stunning designs chosen for Artletica maps. Selected for nature-inspired themes and vibrant hues, the mats radiate the inspiration of India and the Far East while also “capturing the modern monochromatic concepts born in New York City.”

 

Not only are the designs beautiful, they introduce a new layer of safety. They’re printed directly onto the mats making the mats slip-resistant, unlike the typical mat’s ordinary micro-fiber surface. What’s more, the mats offer exceptional cushioning for greater support and comfort.

 

yoga NYC

 

Given that one definition of yoga is the resolution of all conflict, several yogis have no doubt found it… problematic to damage the environment for the sake of your own wellbeing. Artletica mats assist mindfulness in this regard as well. Each mat is crafted from the natural rubber of the Para rubber tree. Moreover, all mats and packaging are fully recyclable and biodegradable.

 

We’ll have to watch the news cycles to find out if Artletica mats spark spontaneous chanting of Om, but people have already shown remarkable interest in obtaining these mats to enhance their yoga bliss. The Kickstarter campaign to launch the mats into the world surpassed its fundraising goal in under an hour!

 

Explore rewards still available and to learn more about these eco-friendly, artistically designed mats by visiting the campaign here.

 

Photo Credits

Artletica

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5 Accounting Tips for Every Small Business 25 Jul 2017, 12:00 pm

Starting a new venture requires diligence. Whether it’s ensuring your customers are happy or it’s perfecting your products and services you’ll need to keep pushing on. With that said, there’s one area that’s often overlooked by small business owners. That area is accounting. Even if you aren’t a finance whiz, it’s absolutely imperative that you have some basic accounting knowledge so you can keep your business afloat when times are tough.

Here are five accounting tips every small business owner should know regardless of your financial aptitude:

Give Payment Incentives and Rewards

Whether you’re pricing your goods for your store or you’re sending an invoice it’s always a good idea to give your customers incentive to make payments. For online and in-store payments make sure you mark-up your products slightly above your ideal margins so you can offer discounts. Consumers love getting more bang for their buck. In fact, they are likely to spend much more if they think their getting a deal. This encourages more sales without sacrificing your bottom line.

If you’re sending invoices to clients, you should offer an incentive if the client pays early. Late payments can severely hurt your cash flow especially if you’re a freelancer. As long as you’re strategic about discounts and incentives, this strategy will surely boost your cash flow rather than the latter.

Utilize Current Payment Technology and Accounting Software

This is one of the best tips I can give any freelancer or small business. Writing paper checks and keeping folders of invoices is a guaranteed accounting nightmare. It may seem manageable when you’re small, but if you plan on effectively scaling your business you need to use a cloud accounting service.

Many of the top payments companies offer online invoicing and accounting solutions for businesses of all sizes. These platforms operate in the cloud so you can access your finances from anywhere. Pricing and features are often set on a tiered structure so it’s super easy to scale the software with your business.

Keep a Cash Reserve

In business and in life you should always have a contingency plan. It’s common for small business owners to dump excess cash back into their business to scale. This is a good practice only if you’re putting a small portion into cash reserves. Most financial analysts suggest having at least three months of runway (basic operating expenses) on hand at all times. However, I suggest having at least six months of runway since things never go exactly as planned. You should check your reserves quarterly and make sure your reserves can keep you afloat for six more months. If not, it’s time to start putting a bit more away.

Consider Multiple Financing Options

It’s good to bootstrap as long as you can. However, there comes a time in nearly every startups life cycle when they need to raise money. Timing is everything. That said, it’s really tough to know when the time is right. The last thing you want is to regret not acquiring funding when you had the chance. Instead of seeking tradition venture capital or angel investors I suggest exploring a few alternative financing options. Traditional funding methods like venture capital can take months to secure funding. Always explore every option so your business never becomes stagnant.

Delegate Your Accounting To Someone Else

Some of us are just not meant for accounting. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn the basic skills, but it may mean you need to find another employee or service to handle your day-to-day finances. To start you can hire a contracted money manager or local accounting firm to handle all the tedious tasks. These experts also know various tricks to save you money and can help mitigate financial blunders in the future.

Final Thoughts

Every small business owner carries the weight of their entire business on their shoulders. One of the main factors is your company’s financial health. Use these five accounting tips to position yourself and your business for success.

 

Accounting Tips for Every Small Business was originally posted on Due by Renzo Costarella.

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Hit The Fun Jackpot On Funzpoints 24 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

There is a touch of Indiana Jones in us all – an ordinary citizen on the exterior with a respectable job, while beneath… a courageous adventurer willing to traverse the globe in pursuit of fortune and glory.

 

However, most of us prefer that our excitement not come with bullets whizzing past our heads or our loved ones being routinely abducted. We find our thrills in games, and gaming. Plenty of us welcome the extra heart palpitations triggered by having a little money on the line.

 

Which is all to say that funzpoints, created by Woopla Games, is exactly the kind exhilarating pleasure that most of us crave – “Kick-ass social games with real cash prizes!”

 

funzpoints landing

 

Woopla Games provides free-to-play or pay-to-play social gaming opportunities. Funzpoints immerses players in a safari adventure, a “world of slithery snakes and trunk-swinging elephants, in search of the ancient tribal mask and long lost treasure map.”

 

Along the way, players encounter casino-style games. And, on top of exciting wins and “hidden bonuses”, players accumulate tickets for a daily jackpot draw. Yes, this makes funzpoints a social gaming platform that pays real money rewards to players. That’s money deposited to your credit card account (without being chased by nazis).

 

Exciting games + cash winnings + loyalty point extras = inner Indiana Jones satisfaction. It’s an irresistible formula, isn’t it.

 

Who said being an adult has to be boring? So you don’t want to crawl around in the actual jungle. So you can’t jet off to Vegas on a whim. That doesn’t mean the kicks you seek are beyond reach. Far from it. With funzpoints you have the ideal social gaming sweepstakes solution to feed your appetite for fun.

 

Can you hear the distant drumbeats calling? Monkeys chattering? Coins clinging? Yourself screaming? A taste of the exotic and bonafide chances to increase your fortunes are yours for the taking with funzpoints. No matter where you are. No matter what job you’re working. No matter how dull or constant your everyday routine.

 

Ready to get “whisked away for outside adventures, for extra wins and more free jackpot tickets”? Currently, funzpoints is in beta. Request an invite to join the platform at funzpoints.com. For more details, visit wooplagaming.com.

 

Photo Credits

funzpoints

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Keep Customer Data Absolutely Safe With InnoVault 21 Jul 2017, 3:00 pm

The last thing any business wants is to be responsible for customer data being stolen. It should go without saying that if you’re going to collect data, then you should do your absolute best to safeguard private and sensitive information.

 

Honesty test: can you confidently say that you’re doing enough to keep customer information secure? If answering that question makes you feel uneasy even the slightest bit, then you’ll want to have a look at InnoVault.

 

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InnoVault is “a developer toolkit engineered to provide data protection at the code level.” In just a few minutes time, you can ensure that your customers’ data will never be compromised. Security will be added to your code – from the beginning – so neither your business nor your customers will ever have the slightest reason to feel vulnerable.

 

Far too many businesses address security late in the game or not at all. By then, it’s complicated or expensive or both to implement adequate protection. InnoVault, on the other hand, simplifies security by tackling it from the get go. A few lines of code, a few tags for data, and you can cross security off your worry list. Consider customer data in the untouchable vault.

 

From first to final release, InnoVault delivers security with minimal effort. Encryption, key management, secure storage, and policy management are all delivered as a service through the InnoVault API.

 

It’s rare to hear Founder’s speak enthusiastically about working on data encryption. That’s because encrypting data well can be complicated. It’s just not in the purview of many Founders, or developers. And who needs more hassles?

 

InnoVault handles security quickly, effectively, and affordably. The company offersthree plans that can cover any size needs, from small projects up to enterprise solutions. A basic plan is free, protecting up to 2,000 records. The Pro plan, which secures as many as 20,000 records, runs $9.99 a month.

 

InnoVault is a bargain compared to the lost business and other troubles that can result  from a security breach. Encrypting at the source, from end to end – it’s convenient and smart. Even when it proves necessary to share data, you can trust that it’s safe to do so when Innovault is on the job.

 

InnoVault is a product by Tozny, an Oregon-based company focused on providing world-class security solutions. For more information about InnoVault or to sign up for an account, visit innovault.io.

 

Photo Credits

InnoVault | Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock

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Zeqr – The New Marketplace For Knowledge Sharing 21 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

Too often when we think of our online world, we think about limiting information. We talk about security and limits to access. We celebrate the likes of Snapchat, offering brief looks at shared content that is destined to vanish permanently…

 

At the same time – perhaps less flashy, but far more worth supporting and championing and cheering – the Internet continues to eliminate barriers to lasting knowledge. And one of the latest, exciting examples of the improving knowledge exchange is Zeqr.

 

zeqr landing

 

Zeqr is a global, knowledge-sharing marketplace that connects experts (Xperts) with learners (Zeqrs or seekers). The foundation of the platform supports real-time exchanges of information via built-in voice, video & screen sharing.

 

Through the Zeqr hub, experts (people, teachers, businesses, etc.) offer classes at the price and duration of their choosing. Ratings, and of course the platform itself, greatly boost the expert’s exposure and make it possible for him or her to share insights into any subject matter – with whomever is interested in learning, from anywhere in the world.

 

Knowledge seekers can find live sessions/classes in areas of interest that fit their schedule, knowledge level, and their specific interests. Unlike other learning programs or platforms, there is truly no limit on Zeqr to what content might be covered.

 

zeqr samples

 

Zeqrs visiting the website can search by experts and courses. They can browse by the most popular teachers and courses or explore by topic. (If you don’t find the class you’re looking for or enough open spaces, make a request and encourage more experts to migrate to this space!)

 

Already Zeqr features classes on hundreds of subjects, lead by hundreds of experts. If you want to learn tech skills, about entrepreneurship, etc. you have many options to deepen your knowledge on a broad range of topics. Categories you can search by include academics, beauty, business, communications, creative and graphic design, lifestyle, other, personal health, and technology.

 

Who can say for sure, one day we may look back on this time as the on-demand age. We have food, rides, and just about any other service you can name available to us at any moment, striving to cater to each individual’s needs. Knowledge is power and freedom. There isn’t another area that could effect profound change at the same magnitude as on-demand knowledge.

 

Zeqr has the potential to throw the doors wide open, enabling people to learn anything at will and experts to freely share their knowledge. To learn more about taking classes or to register as an expert, visit zeqr.com.

 

Photo Credits

Zeqr | Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

The post Zeqr – The New Marketplace For Knowledge Sharing appeared first on KillerStartups.

Tell Your Story On BioPage 20 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

With there being so many social media sites and an endless stream of posts, videos and other content online, efforts to make your story heard can feel rather pointless.

 

Not so with BioPage. This new social media platform aims to put the narrative back in your control and enable you the powerfully project your story.

 

biopage landing

 

At the heart of BioPage, as the name suggests, is your biography. Here you tell your story (briefly) in your own words, letting your personality shine through. No minimal character restraint, no cold resume feel. BioPage equips you to write – and to continue micro-blogging – about you, so that your words aren’t lost in the endless stream of posting.

 

BioPage limits daily posts to two a day, which is enough to share your most important ongoings in your world, while also being a good online neighbor. In other words, we could all do more with less sharing of trivial news. BioPage does everyone a favor by reducing the frequency of posts and forcing us all to make our words count more.

 

BioPage also includes a social media organizer, a helpful list of links to all of your social media accounts. What’s more, users have an ID card which enables them to share custom profiles with others, presenting each individual with the appropriate links and window into your world.

 

biopage samples

 

Taken together, these features allow bloggers to tell their story, professionals to network and advance their careers, and for people to simply connect easier online.

 

“BioPage provides a space for simple and clear communication. It lets users really dive in and tell their story and express who they are. Plus with BioPage, there’s a focus on writing, which provides many benefits related to social ability, mental health, and general happiness,” said BioPage Founder Paul Wang.

 

And speaking of clear communication, BioPage also facilitates direct chats.

 

There are so many different solutions for interacting, arranging your identity and communicating. BioPage neatly bundles together the essentials so that you can showcase who you are. It’s a handy tool for concentrating your personal information and focusing your presence online.

 

BioPage is now available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android and via desktop at biopage.com.

 

Unsatisfied with social media? Do you find that platforms fail to help you accomplish your goals or interact as you would like? You’re not alone. Wang created BioPage after hearing numerous complaints about social media and being frustrated firsthand in the medical profession with screening applicants’ paperwork that inhibited their personality from shining through. Find a better way to express yourself and build your personal brand with BioPage.

 

Photo Credits

BioPage | Lenka Horavova/Shutterstock

The post Tell Your Story On BioPage appeared first on KillerStartups.

Streamline Your Influencer Marketing With Assembly 18 Jul 2017, 1:30 pm

Why is everyone so driven to run influencer marketing campaigns nowadays? 92% of customers find an influencer more trustworthy than traditional ads or celeb endorsements. In a word, influencers are more authentic – and consumers love authenticity.

 

But along with the high rewards of successful influencer marketing campaigns come plenty of questions and difficult tasks. How do you measure success? How do you coordinate efforts?

 

Introducing Assembly: a cloud-based application that allows brands and marketing agencies to manage all of their influencer marketing campaigns in one centralized location.

 

assembly landing

 

The product of Redbrick, Canada’s second-fastest growing software company, Assembly helps teams manage campaigns from end to end, while simplifying each step of the process to boot.

 

“Whether it’s at the brand or agency level, managing one influencer campaign is tedious and time-consuming enough, let alone managing dozens or even hundreds of them simultaneously,” said Redbrick CMO Marco Pimentel. “Our goal with Assembly was to streamline influencer management by bringing all the moving parts together in one neat package to prove that it doesn’t have to be hard to demonstrate ROI.”

 

Here are some of the software’s highlights:

  • influencer onboarding and management
  • campaign creation
  • content review and approval
  • real-time analytics reporting and tracking
  • in-app payments

 

Assembly provides straightforward communication with influencers via email or chat. Campaign managers can easily create goals (related to reach, original content, engagement, etc.) while keeping a firm handle on budget and milestones. A simple dashboard makes everything visible.

 

Perhaps most importantly, everything is recorded. Analytics give a clear picture of performance across all the desired metrics.

 

assembly sample

 

The platform is feature rich, but an intuitive interface makes it a light tool to wield. In a nutshell, Assembly let’s you organize, conduct and measure influencer marketing campaigns efficiently and effectively.

 

Assembly was just launched for widespread use. The company offers three different plans to accommodate the needs of businesses ranging from startups to enterprise. Click here for more pricing details. All three plans have been introduced with a free 15-day trial period.

 

Ready to scale your influencer marketing efforts, while making life easier and maximizing your ROI? Learn more about Assembly and get started with an account by visiting useassembly.com.

 

Photo Credits

Assembly | JrCasas/Shutterstock

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