Business Secured Credit Cards

There are very few banks that offer business secured credit cards, in fact, there is not a single major bank in the US that does so. The main reason is they are not very profitable for the bank, and it is far more costly to report business credit information to the credit reporting agencies. Whether accurate or not, the banks assume that you have poor personal credit and you are likely to never take advantage of their more costly and profitable services.

Alternatives to Business Secured Credit Cards

There are some alternatives as most business do require the ability to purchase airfare, hotels, rental cars, and other services where a check card does not work well. Here are a few ideas that may work for you:

Personal Credit Card

When you are just starting out with a new business, there is little chance you will ever obtain any credit without a personal guarantee. With that in mind, there is only one real difference between a business secured credit card and a personal one. The difference is the business one, if it existed, would not report to your personal credit file and would presumably report to the business. From an accounting or tax perspective, it does not make a difference. One option is to obtain a personal secured card and use it exclusively for business expenses.

If you search around and look at the various programs available, you will find some secured cards that have excellent terms and offer a lot of reporting features. This is helpful when you have to manage business expenses as a lot of these cards even categorize expenses for you. Where possible, you should try to get the secured card at the same bank your business accounts exist. Some people have luck getting a business banker to convert these into a non-secured business credit card after as little as one year.

Unfortunately, this option will report to your personal credit file. However, keep in mind that up until around 10 years in business, everything will report to your personal credit file. The days of obtaining credit on the business name alone went away with the recent recession.

Build Business Credit

This won’t be much help today, but it is never too early to start thinking about your business credit file. Once you build credit and more importantly build a relationship with a bank, your chances of obtaining a traditional business credit card go up dramatically. In addition, building business credit is not very difficult and with a few tips you can have a business file within a few weeks.

1. Ask your vendors for net 30 terms on every single purchase you make. We tend to only think about revolving credit, but anyone that extends you credit for even a day, is a creditor. Many companies report this to the credit agencies. If they do not allow net 30 terms, explain you are trying to build your business credit file and ask for help. Often a business will work something out with you; perhaps 50% upfront and the remainder net 10 or something similar. It really doesn’t matter as long as they are extending you some credit.

2. Get a business phone line. This is a sure fire way of getting a business credit file created. Unfortunately, this cannot be a virtual line so either put a traditional phone line in your home or office.

3. Convert your cell phones to business lines. Most cellular phone companies have a program for this and it is usually quite painless. You may have to offer a personal guarantee, but if you are an existing customer this shouldn’t be a problem.

4. Apply for store credit cards. Many of the large office supply stores have credit card programs that are easy to get. The key to these is to make sure you have an actual business phone line before you apply. The limits are typically small, but they don’t require a personal guarantee and update to all the credit reporting agencies.

There are many other ways to go to build credit, but none are very effective these days. There was a time that you can buy an aged shell corporation and have business credit the very next day. However, this is no longer the case and the aged shell corp route is ineffective. By following the above tips, within around one year you may get some offers in the mail, but you should be very careful as they will mostly if not totally require a personal guarantee.

Summary

While secured credit cards for business doesn’t really exist at any mainstream bank, you can use the above methods to help manage your business finances and pay for items and services that are not accessible with a check card.

Grow Your Business With a Growth Business Plan

Are you at a point with your business where you just don’t know what to do next?
Do you have a business plan?
How about a growth business plan?

Have you looked at a lot of different ways to grow your business and nothing seems to work?

The right growth business plan could be your answer. If a growth business plan is done the right way it may open up some opportunities you have never thought about before. A growth business plan can be developed many different ways but I would like to discuss a growth business plan that you may have never thought about.

Here is the way I would encourage you to set up a growth business plan:

• Do some dreaming about what you would like your lifestyle to be
• By dreaming decide on an average income you would like to have over the next few years
• Decide how many years out you would like your plan to cover
• Decide how much profit you would like for your business to generate above the income you want for yourself.
• Set up a profit and loss statement of your existing business or your proposed business
• With the right business knowledge and a profit and loss statement you can actually use that data to see what your business would need to do for you to give you that income and profit
• Even better you can determine what size market you would need and even determine whether your market would support your business presently and in the future.

To me a small business is one of the best things you can have if you enjoy operating a business; however, it does require a lot more than just enjoying ownership and running a business. Especially if you are starting a small business and even if you have had a business for many years, you should know what you want for your future. Never guess about your business. You see, without a plan, you are just guessing. We business people work hard and we always continue to hope for the best but when we guess, we’re taking a lot of risks. You’ve probably heard the old saying from an unknown author that says, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.”

As a matter of fact, did you know that the Small Business Administration says that 50% of small business owners will fail sometime during their first 5 years? There are lots of reasons but one big one is that owners don’t have a plan. Another is they have picked a product or service that doesn’t have a big enough market to sustain their business and sometime during their future they will run out of customers.

Now as I said, there are many other reasons too.

After graduating from college, I started out in manufacturing as an engineer in a pretty large company and now, 45 years later, retiring as a of Director of Manufacturing, I have discovered an awful lot about business. Not only did I learn and teach a lot about business, I worked with small business owners as well. I’ve learned that it comes down to this. Too many owners work hard in their business but less on their business.

Do you work on your business as much as you work in your business? Do you ever dream about having a good lifestyle but just haven’t quite figured out what to do about it. Have you ever thought about seeing what your business would need to do to give you those dreams? Developing a growth business plan could be the answer.

So, why should you make a growth business plan? Well in simple terms you need to know where you’re going and how and when you’re going to get there.

Some of the questions a growth business plan might ask you are:

- Are you comfortable that the market wants and is willing to buy your product or service?
- Is your product or service priced so it is competitive in your market?
- What’s different about your product or service? Why would a customer purchase it over someone else’s?
- Is your market big enough to support your business? What about 15 years into the future?
- If you wanted a better lifestyle, what would your business need to do to give you that lifestyle?
- How much sales would your business need to generate to give you that income?
- How much sales would your business need to generate to give you the income you want 15 years into the future?
- What will be the cost of your labor and material?
- What will your expenses run?
- How much will it cost to overcome the capacity constraints that will occur as your business grows to meet your income requirements?
- Will your profit give you the income you want in the future and at the same time maintain a healthy business for you as well?

If you develop a good Profit & Loss Statement for your existing business for the current year or for the first year of your proposed business, you can use this data to actually project how much sales you would need to yield the income you want and the profit margin you want. You can plan ahead as far as you want. Sound impossible? It’s actually pretty simple and can be pretty accurate plan.

A plan like this would show you how much sales your business would need to do, what your fixed and variable expenses would be, what your material cost, labor cost and profit would need to be to provide the income and profit margin you want. You can see pretty quickly if it’s possible for you to get your business to that level. I don’t know of any better way than to have your business give you the income and profit you want. What’s neat is you can determine what you want your income to be and your profit to be over the next few years and develop a plan that can show you exactly what your business would need to do to give you that income and profit.

And with just a little more data you can actually determine how many customers you would need for each year you plan for and how many leads you would need. From that you can actually determine what size market you would need and whether your market is big enough to supply those leads that could be converted into customers.

Learn more about how to develop a growth business plan. Visit http://www.StrategicBusinessSolutionsLLC.com

Small Businesses Using Online Software to Manage Their Business

Businesses nowadays are very much different from what businesses have been some twenty to fifty years ago. The main reason behind this is the improvement of technology through time. Businesses have been surfing along the tide of improvement of the technology making the business more successful as time goes on. Business software has increased significantly through the years leading to further efficiency and integration. These benefits are only possible nowadays – these modern days – through the advancement of computers and calculating software.

In today’s modern world, efficiency and rapidity of work is a must. They must be always paramount among other things that are the reason why, the period of office runners who are responsible to pass information from one desk to another are long gone. They have been taken over by much more efficient and quick business software that can also perform similar tasks.

Also, the period of stacks over stacks of papers filed in the desks is long gone and has been also replaced by business software that can file your works, documents and information in memory without having hassles in having and printing of paper files. This software can now transfer your files and information from one place to another in a much shorter time than snail mails can do.

Benefits of Online Software

Here are some things that online software can contribute to small business to make things easier to the business and the owner:

1. Online software has increased the integration and efficiency of the small business
2. Online software offers great rapidity and efficiency to the speed of which the tasks are done.
3. Online software leads to faster transfer of information from one desk/department to another.
4. Online software also offers full integrations of the internal systems.
5. Online software also offers good communication that can result to a better business.
6. Online software can help run the business smoother and give a better service to its customers.
7. Online software and business software can help managers study all their departments simultaneously, checking ledgers and payrolls whilst keeping tracks of the employees bills and expenses in materials.
8. Online software can help improve client relationships especially to those who want to be treated individually. They can check the likes and dislikes of each client, check and save their information and know their demands in just a matter of one click. Today, clients are of greater important that is why they do their best to maintain their clients and make them feel that they are valued and appreciated.
9. Online software and business software can now also have internet access that can make tasks be done easier, transfer files faster and connect with clients no matter how great the distance may be.
10. Online and business software can secure your businesses in a safe place leaving you feel relieved about the security of your business.

Business before the Computers and Excel

Have you been wondering how business manage over the years before the super computers started to sprout out including the much widely used and preferred excel? Have you been wondering how they can transfer files and communicate to their clients locally and internationally? Have you been wondering how they file all their paper works, files and tasks and do them accordingly and without delay?

If you are taking that it’s too slow like and may take years, (yeah may be I’m exaggerating, let’s make it days or weeks), well, your correct. You’re absolutely correct. At that time, information is transferred from one place to another through mail that is why it may take weeks before you can receive it. You need to pass the information as early as you can before it is needed so that you can do work and submit paper works without delay.

Before computers, the machines that businesses used mostly are the typewriters and the calculators. Even the calculators at that time are not that advance as what the calculators today can do. Everything that needs to be done is done manually, done by hand. Each computations and written outputs are done by hand with pen and paper. All are hand-written like sales receipts. The spreadsheet, done today in excel, are once done on paper. The accounting records are once kept on ledger books. They once have these elaborate filing systems that keeps the records and inventories they have achieved.

Even before the era of typewriters, all business letters have to be hand-written. Those days are so slow and hard that every staff and employees should be meticulous in each and every task they are working. Everything that should be done requires more effort. Papers records are laboriously and meticulously files and creates. They are less accurate and less effective than what computer system’s today can offer.

The online tools for business

Different online tools have been spreading nowadays like SaaS. SaaS or the Software as a Service is a kind of software distribution model where applications are presented by a vendor or a service provider. This software offers many benefits to online businesses by being user-friendly software giving easier administration, having automatic updates on the latest feature of the software; the software is also compatible to any users, has easier collaboration and is globally accessible.

Not only is SaaS is the only software used for business. There are also other online tools and sites such as goDaddy that offers fast and secure email contacts, advanced 4th-grade generation hosting, helps entrepreneurs to do business in the web and many more.

There is also where employees can get up to 25GB for email storage, can, make instant messages and chat with their clients, secures your data and is highly reliable and is easier to operate.

Aside from those two, there are also sites that would be of great help to your business like the dropbox, plumsale, mailchip, etc. They give you benefits in their own ways. You just have to explore and see what fits for your business.