The Six Common Reasons Business Owners May Need A Loan

Opening a New Location

If you are thinking about opening a new location for your business, then chances are that revenues are up and there is an opportunity to expand into a new market. You should consider a loan that can handle all of the costs involved with securing a space, moving inventory, and advertising the opening of the location. Perhaps you have a restaurant and want to expand to having a food truck. If you are confident that the revenues will increase simply because of the accessibility of your business, then a loan may be the right move to make.

Build Credit For A Bigger Financial Transaction

Perhaps you plan to apply for a large amount of financing. If you are a newer business owner it’s best to crawl before you walk. Take smaller unsecured loans regularly to pay for expenses. This will help with the business’s overall credit history. Getting saddled into a massive loan early in business will make it difficult for growth to take place. Businesses should also consider building relationships with lenders as this increases the chances that repeat deals may be in the future.

Perhaps You Need Equipment

Business equipment can be machinery, tools, or a vehicle. As a business owner, sometimes you can’t pass up the opportunity to automate tasks, speed up production, or increase convenience for your customers. A loan to obtain the equipment you need might be the key to taking on larger clientele. Again, if the acquired equipment will allow the business to increase revenues, then getting the funding needed is a smart idea.

You Want To Purchase Inventory

This section is especially for retail businesses. Perhaps you are offered a large purchase order, but can’t fulfill the order due to cash flow issues. Maybe it’s getting close to the fourth quarter and you want to be ready for Black Friday by having shelves fully stocked. A loan might be a good idea here as well. Make sure that the interest rate does not create a break even situation with the profit. Also, be sure to invest in products that sell frequently or seasonally so that you avoid being stuck with stale inventory. The goal is to avoid doing something drastic like giving up equity or control of your company in exchange for funds.

Business Deal That You Can’t Pass Up

Sometimes the return on investment outweighs the debt. Opportunity has the tendency to knock at inconvenient times for some. An opportunity to acquire land or property presents itself when you least expect it. Maybe you have a high profit margin item that is being offered in bulk at deep discount cost and the funds are not on-hand to take advantage. What if your business is presented with the opportunity to acquire another business? You have to take risks in business sometimes to see the rewards.

You Need to Hire Staff

Getting a loan to make payroll is not uncommon. However, the reason should not be that the business is in a downturn. Perhaps you need to hire summer help to handle additional customers during the tourist season. If it is forecast that revenues will be up during this time and you need a loan to front the overhead costs, then press forward. Maybe you have a property management company and the rentals need work done to attract the interest of perspective tenants. A loan could be used to fund all of the repair work and improvements the properties need. Again, make sure the business is forecast to earn healthy profits to pay the loan off in timely manner.

Getting Started

What do lenders typically look for in businesses? If a company has been in business for at least 6 months and can produce a minimum of 3 bank statements then lenders could begin underwriting to determine the kind of loan and how much to lend. If you are looking to obtain a loan for any of the reasons above you should start the process today. Remember, loans are never bad if it is part of an overall plan to increase revenue.

Don’t Be Fooled By Social Media: Why Every Entrepreneur Still Needs A Website

Every entrepreneur should want to know how to grow their business. How can I make money even while I am sleeping? If I wanted customers in other countries, how can I reach them? Before you invest thousands of dollars in a website, finish reading this article. You would be surprised how many small to medium-sized businesses are relying on social media only for an online presence. Likes and followers can be collected, but you will not have your customers’ full attention.

Part of great marketing for your business is having a website. In the past web development and design was in high demand because there was a high level skill needed to build storefronts or minimally functional websites. While complex web applications still need this level of skill, there are several options on the market that even novice users can take advantage of and have a website up and running within hours. Some of the advantages include:

-Consumers will have 27/7 access to your services/products

-The ability to transact both domestic and foreign business

-Consumers can get their questions answered and stay informed

-Businesses can manage their consumer relationships with email addresses, forms, and other web hosting add-ons

In addition to having a website, it is also important for businesses to have email addresses that match their domain names and not the third party mail names (ex. joesplumbing@gmail.com vs joe@joesplumbing.com). Customers will appreciate the professional look of your email address. Where should you start your search? Web Hosting companies are one-stop shops where you can ensure that your business is accessible 24/7, manage emails, and maintain the design/content of the website.

To help you in your search, we have created a small list of web hosting companies that can help you get started.

HostGator offers a full range of hosting packages as well as Award Winning 24/7/365 support via phone, email, and LiveChat. They now offer a variety of packages and products including Shared, Optimized WordPress, Cloud Hosting and more. Along with this, packages come with Site Building Tools, Templates, and Shopping Cart Software for E-Commerce. They can also assist with migrating existing websites from other hosts for new customers at no charge.

TMD Hosting has been one of the more dependable web hosting companies for years. Their starter package includes unlimited bandwidth and SSD space (storage). Customers will also get a free domain name, premium support, cpanel, and optimum cache. With two datacenters in the US and several others across the globe, reliability will not be a problem with this company.

BlueHost boasts that it is powering over 2 Million websites worldwide. One of their highlighted features is the 1-click WordPress install. Customer will also get a free domain, access to Site Builder for easy web design and development, and 24/7 support. BlueHost’s new cloud service gives customers the opportunity to scale their business while using reliable technology for an affordable price.

Regardless of which web hosting provider you decide to go with, having an online presence is a must. Some may be tempted to have only a social media presence, but businesses need a web space that allows their customers to focus on their products and services without distractions. Start scaling your business and increasing accessibility today by creating a website for your business.

Former President Barack Obama Delivers His First Public Remarks Since Leaving Office

“So, uh, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?” Thats what the crowd was asked by the nation’s 44th President of the United States as he prepared to engage in a discussion with young people that may one day lead our country.

Former US President Barack Obama delivered his first public remarks of his post-presidency at the University of Chicago. The former commander and chief sat with six young leaders in the location of his future presidential library. Obama plans to combat gerrymandering, money in politics and media polarization. However, he identified young people as his highest priority. “What is the most important thing I can do for my next job? … The most important single thing I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and take their own crack at changing the world,” he said.  Obama avoided criticizing President Trump and instead gave sound advice to young people from all over the country that attended the invitation-only event.

Selling Dirt to Pot Farmers: How Cannabis Is Enabling Innovation

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of startup, Waste Farmers, which sells dirt to pot farmers. The company began collecting food waste from schools and restaurants and turning it into compost. Waste Farmers started producing organic potting soil made from coconut husks and bio char, derived from dead trees killed by pine beetles. The company has 20 employees and is certified as a B Corp. “B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency” (B Corp).

Waste Farmers’ goal is to rapidly speed up the adoption of a new food system to feed humanity wherever they live, decrease agriculture’s environmental impact and combat climate change. According to a 2017 Forbes article, Maxfield describes Colorado as the Silicon Valley of cannabis. When Colorado legalized marijuana in 2013, Waste Farmers developed Batch 64, named after Amendment 64, for the ballot initiative. The company saw it as an incredible opportunity to grow controlled agriculture.

Chicago-Based Startup Looks To Rebuild The Gig Economy One Chore At A Time

“Uber meets Priceline meets Salesforce for household projects”. Founded by Tarik Khribech, Adam Cisek, Karrie Sullivan, and Florence Hardy; ChoreRelief is a Chicago-based startup that aims to eliminate challenges related to sourcing and transacting household business. According to ChoreRelief, consumers and small businesses share common frustrations when they attempt to source and complete household projects. Imagine setting a price for a service and being able to track progress. You use your smart phone app to request a small plumbing job and see who is going to do the work. Customers can even track when the provider is going to arrive. ChoreRelief has elevated the small jobs and annoying chores market by connecting consumers and providers using an interactive web platform and mobile app.

ChoreRelief has tapped into the frustrations of both consumers and providers. No one can deny the difficulty in finding the right person or company to perform a small job. Some contractors place small jobs low on the priority list, often not showing up at all. Estimates for small jobs are delivered slowly or priced on-the-fly, often blindsiding the customer. The providers for small jobs can often become frustrated with dealing with a marketplace flooded by companies that are mainly seeking large jobs. This type of marketplace can make it seem somewhat impossible for providers to keep a steady stream of customers. Too often providers for small jobs are unorganized and lack the tools necessary to support sales tracking, scheduling, and customer communication.

Entrepreneurs are provided with several tools and education to run their business. Providers have the ability to handle hundreds of chores. ChoreRelief’s software also provides tools for entrepreneurs that have employees. Some of the highlighted provider tools include schedules for employees; monitoring the progress of jobs; access to sales reports; access to customer database; and marketing/payment tools. What tools are being used to get everyone connected? The company uses SaaS (Software as a Service) and mobile apps to connect consumers with those who do yard work, clean houses, wash cars, and etc. The website is user friendly and easy to navigate making it attractive to any provider that may not be that tech savvy, but wants to leverage the tools available to take their business to the next level.

ChoreRelief’s formula for building a network of providers revolves around a core principle; providers should be treated like human beings not products. “The sharing economy has lost sight of the humanity of work. People want to be treated with dignity and respect and control of their own destiny.  The sharing economy needs to share the economy”. Chicago and New York City users continue to grow. This supports idea that the on-demand employment model works.

ChoreRelief is a title III crowdfunding campaign and is actively accepting investments. Successful apps has been launched in iTunes and downloaded by consumers and providers in Chicago and New York. The company plans to launch Android apps in the Google Play Store as well as invest in marketing to expand their customer base.

How Technori Introduced An Unfamiliar Audience To A Thriving Tech Community

“Founded in 2010, Technori’s mission is to create momentum for startups by building a community around tech and innovation that enables early stage companies to get in front of thousands of members of the tech community to connect with, and share their story with future customers, employees and investors!

To date, 300+ companies have presented at over 75 events and gone on to raise more than $260,000,000 in venture capital. In fact, Technori startups now employ over 2,500 people and have gone onto some of the top accelerators in the world, including; Y Combinator, Tech Stars and AngelPad – and several more have already exited” (Technori.com)!

“On February 28, Technori hosted five African-American entrepreneurs in the Chase Bank Auditorium at 10 South Dearborn St. in Chicago. The founders pitched their business to a 300-person audience. The evening—which also featured a keynote address from Emile Cambry Jr., founder of tech innovation center Blue 1647, and an introduction to Shamari Walker, a high schooler from Hammond, Indiana, who developed his own software company—celebrated minority entrepreneurship on the last day of Black History Month (Medill Reports Chicago)”.

The event resulted in roughly half of the audience being African-American which served as a conversation starter for tech communities that may have never interacted before. The event helped exposed some in the tech community to minorities that have worked in technology all of their lives. There is no secret that the tech industry has a minority problem; or lack of diversity. Entrepreneurs like Shaniqua Davis (Noirefy) and Donna Beasley (KaZoom) talked about taking advantage of the chance to challenge stereotypes and serve as role models for aspiring entrepreneurs. It is true that the young African-American Community often lack interest and/or confidence in tech careers.

Inclusive Innovation Incubator: How Howard University And DC Plan To Attract A Confident and Innovative Community

Howard Univerity Business Incubator

Howard University will have a soft opening for its new business incubator in a few weeks. The building is located at 2301 Georgia Ave. N.W. across from Howard University’s Campus. The building is highlighted by 22 foot ceilings, LED lighting, and bright colors throughout. Gaven Daniels designed the incubator with the idea of have a comfortable environment for a diverse community to feel confident and capable of innovating.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot incubator has nearly 60 workstations, 11 offices and five classrooms. DC provided $1 Million dollars in grants to help fund the building. Operating the building annually could cost as much as 1.2 Million dollars, which makes finding corporate sponsors a high priority. Last February, the city and Howard picked Aaron Saunders‘ Clearly Innovative’s education arm, Luma Lab, to run the space. Saunders is paying rent to Howard.

“Drop-in visitors can pay $40 to access the lounge and the workstations, while a $300 monthly membership gets you unlimited access to any available seat in the lounge or a workstation. Everyone who uses the incubator gets access to printing and to private booths for phone calls, as well as office hours with In3 mentors.

For a $400 monthly fee, members get their own dedicated personal desk space, mail handling services, a personal locker and the ability to host private events at the space. For $600 a month you can get a private office space for one person or up to four people, along with all of the other items mentioned” (Washington Business Journal).

To read the original article click here

Tech Giant To Combat Racial Injustice: How Google Is Joining The Conversation About Race, Policing, and Criminal Sentencing

Image From Equal Justice Initiative Website

In an effort to combat racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing, Google donated 11.5 million dollars in grants to four organizations combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “It’s hard to measure justice,” Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and president at the Center for Policing Equity (which will receive $5 million, the largest share of Google’s grants), told USA Today. “In policing, data are so sparse and they are not shared broadly. The National Justice Database is an attempt to measure justice so that people who want to do the right thing can use that metric to lay out a GPS for getting where we are trying to go. That’s really what we see Google as being a key partner in helping us do.”

One of the groups Google is supporting is the Equal Justice Initiative which is a group that Black Lives Matter has endorsed. The story is a fascinating one as Google is known for its lack of diversity in its work force. Still it is an encouraging sign to see that the company is not afraid to join the conversation of racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing.

Detroit’s Resurgence: The Social Club Is One Of Many Reasons The City Is Making A Comeback

The Social Club, a barbershop that impacts the community and the natural environment is one of many black-owned businesses being credited with being a part of Detroit’s resurgence. The company aims to rebuild the American community by expanding into all realms of modern gentlemen: Fashion, Music, Lifestyle, and others. Bonding, socializing, and exchanging ideas is what the social club brings back to the barbershop.

Founded by Sebastian Jackson in 2012, the Social Club is committed to offering a hassle-free, yet high quality experience, without the pretensions of a salon. Jackson had his first three business plans rejected by Wayne State University, his desired location for The Social Club. Eventually Sebastian and his wife Gabrielle opened The Social Club Grooming on WSU’s main campus, built with reclaimed lumber from blighted Detroit homes.

The Social Club is giving back by partnering with a local park to build a greener city by providing hair clippings to be used as fertilizer for 200 trees. The Social Club has drawn in some big names including NFL running back Reggie Bush and Detroit Born neo-soul singer Dwele. Described as “Our Superman in Detroit” by a 2013 article, Sebastian Jackson represents what America needs more of; passionate entrepreneurs with fresh ideas that look to inspire change while making the world a little better every day.

One of the Hottest Companies To Watch In 2017: Parachute

Parachute will be one the hottest startups to watch in 2017. The bedding, bath, and décor retailer is committed to manufacturing products that surpass the most stringent safety and environmental protection standards. Their home essentials are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they’re free of synthetics and chemicals, and our manufacturer’s Responsible Down Standard certification ensures our down comes from humanely treated ducks.

High Quality Bedding is produced from a company in Italy and then sold through Parachute’s website and one store at its headquarters in Venice Beach, California. It is also worth noting that co-living startups are now including advertising that says they have Parachutes Sheets.

Founded in 2014 by Ariel Kaye, Parachute partners with Nothing But Nets, an organization providing safe sleep to those in need. Social responsibility has been implicit to Parachute’s business model from the start. For every Venice Set sold, Parachute sends one life-saving malaria prevention bed net to people in need through Nothing But Nets.