Business Loan Applicants Tips

When it comes to obtaining financing to start a new business, minorities are facing an uphill battle, new research shows.

Minorities seeking small business loans are treated differently than their white counterparts, despite having identical qualifications on paper, according to a new study that appears online in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“There is a general belief among Americans that we’re the land of opportunity and that anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” said study co-author Glenn Christensen, an associate professor of marketing at Brigham Young University. “It is a land of opportunity, but that opportunity is not always equally accessible.”

As part of the study, the researchers recruited three black, three Hispanic and three white small-business owners to try and secure loans. The entrepreneurs wore the same clothes, asked for identical $60,000 loans to expand identical businesses and had nearly identical backgrounds.

The study’s authors found that the minority loan seekers were given less information on loan terms, were asked more questions about their personal finances and were offered less application assistance by loan officers.

“If you are white and set out to get financing for an entrepreneurial venture, it

E Commerce Platform for Businesses Tips

To test e commerce software, we signed up for our own business account on several platforms. We found Shopify to be supereasy to use, and we were able to set up our account in seconds.

When you sign in to Shopify, you’ll be greeted with a simple dashboard with a side navigation menu, which makes it easy to get around and quickly get to a specific task. The dashboard home page also has shortcuts to commonly used features, so you don’t have to waste time going through each section — for instance, to add products or edit your website.

Using Shopify, you can launch your online store in three steps: add products, customize the look of your website and set up your domain. Adding products is as simple as entering details like product descriptions, pricing and options (size, color, model, etc.), and then uploading product images.

Plus, you don’t need any tech skills to build, design or edit your website. You can choose from more than 100 ready-made themes, and then just add your logo and pick colors that match your branding using a color picker. You can also customize its look and feel using

Is Small Businesse Need a Customer Service

TeleDirect offers nearly every service you could expect from a call center. TeleDirect’s inbound services include reliable customer support, order processing, media support, tech support, reservation services and help desk services. The outbound services are equally robust, including lead generation, customer retention efforts, market research, appointment setting, telemarketing, follow-up calls and survey conducting. A unique feature of TeleDirect’s outbound services is cold-calling, which helps to forge new customer relationships and expand your base; most other services do not perform cold-calling in addition to their other outbound functions. This slate of services made TeleDirect one of the most comprehensive call center service we reviewed.

24/7 availability

TeleDirect is available 24/7/365, providing a constant destination for your customers’ phone calls, regardless of your business hours or time zone. Not only is constant availability a boon for cementing customer relationships, but it also means a representative will always be available on holidays and weekends.

Our customer-service experience with TeleDirect was satisfactory. Agents were knowledgeable and able to answer any questions we had, though our interactions did lack a personal touch or a friendliness that might leave an even better impact on a customer. However, we never had to

Best customer service Tips

Best call center service for small business

TeleDirect was selected as our best overall call center service for small businesses primarily because it boasts a complete selection of both inbound and outbound services, including some of the harder-to-find features like cold-calling services. TeleDirect’s services are also available 24/7/365, meaning your customers will always have someone to speak with, even on weekends and holidays. Depending on your particular needs, you can select shared agents, who conduct multiple campaigns, or dedicated agents, who will be focused solely on your business. TeleDirect also supports English and Spanish, as well as a number of other languages depending on the requirements of your clientele. Find out more about TeleDirect on the call center service’s website, or see our full review for more information.

Best Call Center Service for Low-Volume Calling: Xact Telesolutions

If your business doesn’t field a lot of calls, it can be difficult to find a call center service that will truly be cost-effective. Xact Telesolutions has no monthly invoice requirements or call minimums, meaning you can pay only for the services you use and nothing more. Xact’s agents are prepared to answer calls 24/7/365,

Telesolutions For Customer Service

The key for a low-call-volume business is to find a call center with no monthly minimums or invoice requirements. With Xact Telesolutions, you’ll pay only for the services you use. Many other call center services require either a minimum number of calls or minutes on the phone, while others charge you a base fee regardless of how much of their service you use. Small businesses that don’t regularly meet these minimums or don’t require the base level of services would be better off going with a no-minimum service like Xact.

Customizable

Xact Telesolutions, like all of the call center services we recommended in our reviews, is a customizable service, so it includes only the functions your business requires. The rate you pay will vary depending on which services you choose, so you’ll need to speak with a representative to obtain a quote for your individualized plan.

Inbound services to choose from include appointment management, customer service, order processing, credit card processing, technical support, loyalty programs and follow-up scheduling.

Outbound services offered by Xact Telesolutions include lead generation, appointment reminders, collection reminders, online and print marketing campaigns, customer feedback, and surveys.

Xact Telesolutions also

Flowchart Software for Small Businesses Ideas

Are you trying to choose a flowchart software for your business? We’re here to help you find the one that’s right for you. Whereas some systems are appropriate for larger businesses, we found three that we think are best for small businesses’ needs.

What is flowchart software?

Flowchart software can help you easily create diagrams, organization charts, wireframes, process-flow diagrams and more. The charts are suitable for presenting to clients or other stakeholders. Charts can be shared online and some offer interactive features. Flowchart makers provide more features than free software or spreadsheet or presentation programs. Plus, they include helpful templates, symbol libraries and collaboration tools.

Benefits of flowchart software

  • Creates professional flowcharts easily
  • Shares charts online, by PDF or image file
  • Includes numerous templates and symbols
  • Also creates other types of charts
  • Compatible with other business apps

Other types of charts diagram software can create: business process modeling (BPMB), organizational charts, mind maps, SWOT analysis, network diagrams, electrical drawings, engineering drawings, wireframes, mock-ups, Unified modeling language (UML) diagrams, Venn diagrams, workflow diagrams and custom diagrams.

If you have found that you have outgrown free chart creation tools, it may be time to consider an affordable

Tips to success on your financial business

Obtaining a small business loan isn’t as easy as you might think. Small business owners looking for capital to take their business to the next level can face issues with eligibility, and the process of both applying for and receiving a loan is lengthy and time-consuming.

Want to speed up the process and make the loan application process go more smoothly? Evan Singer, general manager of small business loan application serviceSmartBiz, shared these tips.

1. Keep your documents in order.

First and foremost, keep your business records straight, Singer said, adding that the application process will be more seamless if you take the time to keep your financial, accounting and tax records up-to-date and accurate. Make sure your business has a system in place to keep everything organized.

2. Maintain good credit.

In addition to keeping track of your documents, make sure to pay your bills on time. You’ll have to meet some type of credit criteria, so it’s important to have the best credit possible. Avoid foreclosures, bankruptcies, charge-offs and late payments. While banks have different credit requirements, good credit is an essential part of the process, Singer said.

3. Know

Choose the Right Customer Service Call Center

Fielding customers’ phone calls is a critical component of any business, but it can be difficult to balance productivity and customer service, especially when your business is growing. To solve this problem, many businesses employ call centers. Of course, most small businesses can’t afford to maintain an in-house call center. That’s where third-party call center services come in. These companies offer services such as answering calls, assisting customers, performing lead generation, conducting surveys and obtaining customer feedback.

More robust call center services can also help to expand your small business’s customer base through marketing, data gathering and the addition of languages to your customer service line. They can also make a business look more professional.

Call center services can vary widely. While some businesses might only need a basic answering service, others might want the most sophisticated outreach options. This guide will help you understand the variety of call center services available and determine which one is right for your business.

Answering services vs. call center services

There are a few important distinctions between call center services and answering services. Knowing the differences between them is key to choosing the right service for your business.

Already know

All About Investors Business Tips

Unless you plan to fund your new business from your own bankroll, you most likely will need an investor at some point along the way.

Regardless of how great your business is, if you can’t get someone to invest some money to launch it or help it grow, your venture doesn’t have much chance of succeeding.

As a fund manager, investor and entrepreneur, Shereen Shermak, CEO of Launch Angels, has listened to and been a part of dozens of pitches. She said the key to making a strong impression on potential investors is being able to thoughtfully answer all of the questions they have.

Shermak said that in an investor pitch meeting, there are six questions that every entrepreneur should be prepared to answer, including:

  • What’s your complete competitive landscape look like — beyond just where you’re playing? Entrepreneurs need to demonstrate that they understand, and respect, the competitive environment they are operating in. What sets them apart from the competition? I want to see that companies understand the growth and contraction trends of their competition, especially as it relates to their product or service. As part of understanding the competitive landscape, it’s also very important

Startup Investors Tips

Getting someone to invest in your new business takes more than a great idea.

While the idea is critical, investors take much more into consideration when deciding whether or not to hand over some of their cash to a budding entrepreneur.

Michael Mocatta, an entrepreneur mentor in residence at the London Business School and a partner at Neta Ventures, said entrepreneurs need to know what to ask for and how to ask for it when trying to pitch investors on their plan. This includes knowing how to entice investors with their idea and asking for only as much money as is truly needed.

To help entrepreneurs get the most out of their pitch meetings and ensure the relationship is a win-win for both parties, Mocatta offers five tips:

  • Don’t put your idea first the team is most important. Your team is what makes your idea happen. Potential investors are looking at the people behind the idea. Do you have a rock-solid founding team? A common mistake is a team presenting itself to a potential investor with a missing link, such as one that’s still looking for the tech guru. It’s also good to note that a startup

How much money that you need for your business

If you’re thinking about launching a new business, you may not know where to start with your finances. Of course, you’ll need a decent amount of cash flow to maintain your company. However, if you are organized and thorough, you can plan out your financing and keep your startup budget on track.

Here’s how to figure out approximately how much you’ll need to launch your business.

Start small

You most likely have high expectations for your company. However, blind optimism may cause you to invest too much money too quickly. At the very beginning, it’s smart to keep an open mind and prepare for issues that may arise, experts say.

“A prospective business owner should start planning a small business by simply understanding the potential of the business idea,” McCahon told Business News Daily. “What this means is not assuming your idea will be successful.”

The best approach is to test your idea in a small, inexpensive way that gives you a good indication of whether customers actually need your product and how much they’re willing to pay for it, McCahon said. If the test seems successful, then you can start planning your

Affordable Cities for Startups Your Business

For the second year in a row, cities in the South give entrepreneurs the best chances to keep their startup costs low, while big cities remain among the most expensive places to start a new business, new research finds.

The study from SmartAsset revealed that nine of the 10 cheapest cities to start a new business in are in southern states, including three in Tennessee.

To find the cities with the lowest startup costs, SmartAsset collected data on the typical costs of starting and running a business in 80 of the largest cities in the United States. They calculated the total expected startup costs over the first year of operation for a company based on five factors:

  • 1,000 square feet of office space.
  • The cost of gas and electricity for a 1,000-square-foot office.
  • The average cost of filing fees for either incorporation or filing as an LLC.
  • Legal and accounting fees.
  • Payroll costs for five full-time employees, earning the city’s median annual salary.

Topping this year’s rankings of the most affordable cities for startups is Chattanooga, Tennessee. The city is attractive for entrepreneurs looking to save money because of its relatively low costs for office space and employee payroll.

Small Loans is Suitable For Small Business

While the ability of small businesses to obtain capital has improved in recent years, getting a traditional bank loan is still a tough obstacle, a new study finds.

Research from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet revealed that over the last four years, there has been a 13 percent increase in access to capital for small businesses. However, most are getting that money from personal assets and not banks or online lenders.

The study revealed that only 38 percent of small business respondents qualified for a bank loan within the last three months, compared with 70 percent of mid-size businesses.

It’s been even tougher to obtain a Small Business Administration Loan. Just 1 percent of the small businesses surveyed qualified for an SBA loan over the past three months.

Looking for information on business loans? Fill in the questionnaire below, and you will be contacted by alternative lenders ready to discuss your loan needs.

Although low credit scores might have precluded you from getting a loan in years past, today’s lending environment is more open to subpar credit ratings.

“While traditional banks may be restrictive when it comes to

The important for your business

So, your company needs money that you currently don’t have. Maybe your business is just taking flight and is still lacking the necessary funds, or perhaps you have high aspirations with low profits at the moment.

If loans are your go to choice for financing, you’ll need to decide between a traditional bank loan and an alternative lender. For the latter, peer to peer (P2P) lending might be a smart option if you’re looking for a smoother, faster borrowing process.

According to Investopedia, P2P lending lets individuals borrow and lend money without an official financial institution as the intermediary. Lenders collect income from interest, usually at a higher cost than with traditional loans, while borrowers access financing they may not have been approved for elsewhere.

“P2P loans can often offer higher approval rates and competitive interest rates  a stellar combination,” said Emily Bartz, a writer at NextAdvisor.com, which provides independent research and comparison tools for financial, tech and business products. “The beauty of P2P lending is that it offers borrowers a more personal experience by avoiding big banks and financial institutions. Plus, borrowers can rest easy knowing that their lender is accredited and provides legitimate loan support.”

Card Printing Services for Small Businesses Tips

Are you trying to choose an online business card printing service for your business? We’re here to help you find the one that’s right for you. While some printing services are appropriate for larger businesses, we found four that we think are best for small business or freelancers’ needs.

Online business card printing

The best business card printing services for small businesses produce high-quality cards without requiring you to use special software or to have design skills. You should be able to create your new card design easily online, see high-resolution previews online, and receive your new cards in a timely manner. The best services also provide a wide variety of card stock choices, images, fonts, colors and card shapes.

Benefits of online business card printing services:

When you create your business cards, think about how you plan to use them. If you are using them for offering discounts or one-time opportunities, you can save money by choosing a low-priced option. If you plan on using them to give to contacts whom you wish to sell high-priced items to, you’ll want a card that is attractive and worth keeping that may cost a bit