Bulletproofing Your Business For Survival In A Pandemic

The current upheaval with the coronavirus is again driving home the absolute requirement for small to mid-size companies to strive to make themselves bulletproof. In effect, making them less susceptible to changing socio-economic and environmental conditions, abrupt or gradual.

It’s about creating a business that is nimble and can react and adapt to any threat. It is about the ability to survive and thrive when all hell is breaking loose. It is about preparing a business to withstand anything that comes its way.

As I talk with our clients in the St. Louis area, the level of emotional and irrational share of mind is the greatest where a company has not completely implemented an architecture that prepares them for steady, consistent and scalable growth. They do not yet have the confidence and clarity that comes with having a “fortress of conviction” that their business will survive and thrive, regardless of the threat.

Counter that with companies that were prepared and understood a threat was on the horizon, in this case the coronavirus. Many had their plans in place before it all hit the fan. Worst case – it will lessen the short and long term impact, both financial and non-financial, because they were prepared.

How do you prepare a small to mid-sized business for adversity? Frankly, the same way you prepare a business for scalability and growth. The foundation or platform that is created when you want to take your business to the next level will protect your business when weathering any storm or turbulence. It is the great differentiator and why your business will last when many of your competitors will fall by the wayside.

It’s really very simple and you can count them on one hand.

  1. It starts with the leader. Great companies have great leaders. A great leader is prepared and have the emotional intelligence to work through all challenges. They may not have all of the answers, but, they at least know how to find them.
  2. Every business needs an operating system, a platform that stabilizes the business and makes operating it consistent and predictable.
  3. Without the Right People in the Right Seats, a business cannot succeed.
  4. You cannot run a business without good, hard data to help make “the right” decisions and plan effectively.
  5. Everyone in your organization must be aligned, rowing in the same direction – essentially thinking like business owners.

This is a very high-level set of requirements, but, for companies that want to achieve next level, scalable success they are a requirement. A bonus is having the added benefit of protecting themselves from the events such as the one we are currently experiencing.

Author Jim Rohn once said, “In business there is a spring, summer, fall and a winter.” Businesses must always plan for the winter and enjoy the other seasons. In our research, 80% of small to mid-size companies are not prepared for the winter. Those that are will leave their competitors in the dust.

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Commercial Insurance Quote Overview: An Introduction to Business Insurance Coverage

If you’ve recently started a new business, it’s time to start looking for a commercial insurance quote. New businesses owners tend to be optimistic and therefore don’t consider the risks associated with running a business that could potentially lead to a lawsuit. What if someone gets hurt on your property? What if someone tries to accuse you of defamation, copyright infringement, or something similar? What if an employee accidentally damages a client’s property? These are just a few examples of why you need a quality business insurance policy.

These policies come in many forms and offer various types of coverage. You might want to get one that is custom for your industry. If you just run a small business from the home then you obviously won’t get the same commercial insurance quote as somebody who runs a construction company.

Generable professional liability insurance covers a business in the event that a customer gets hurt on property that is associated with a business. It might also pay for the owner’s legal defenses if he/she faces a lawsuit because a product or service causes harm. Almost any business requires this type of insurance.

If any vehicles are involved in your business in any way, you’ll need to add commercial auto insurance to your policy. What if one of your employees is injured or injures someone else in an accident? What about damages to the vehicle itself?

What Else to Look for in a Commercial Insurance Quote

Another thing to look for in a commercial insurance quote, depending on your type of business, is professional liability insurance. This covers factors such as claims of errors and omissions that can occur in the course of conducting business. It’s no secret that people will sue over just about anything these days. You never know when you might have to hire a lawyer to defend you against the stupidest things.

Here is a quick overview of some of the factors that go into obtaining the right commercial insurance quote:

• Type of business and industry you are involved in

• Whether you provide a service or product, and what kind

• Location of business, including the physical address and whether or not it’s run from your home

• Whether you own or rent the place of business

• Number of employees

• Whether your business is a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, etc..

• If your company uses written contracts

• Estimated payroll expenses over the next year

• Estimated gross sales over the next year

There are other important considerations as well. The best place to learn more about your options and to obtain a custom commercial insurance quote is Hiscox Business Insurance. It’s a legitimate company that offers a wide range of options for all business types.

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Are You Subconsciously Sabotaging Your Life & Your Online Business?

Things happen for a reason is something I believe in. I also believe that I am the person I am because of my life experiences.

Furthermore, I also believe things happen for a reason in your online business.

Light At The End of the Tunnel

My hope in sharing my story is so others who have suffered a similar fate in their online business may be able to see hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world, but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”

? John Newton

Being aware of many ways to make money online and to start your online business in every conceivable niche?-?every top achiever flaunting their secret methods to their success through training programs/schemes.

Similar Experiences

So perhaps your experiences are similar to mine as I have tried various money-making schemes/get rich quick schemes over the years.

The top achievers at the time when I got interested in starting an online business, seem to make it sound so easy. Therefore embarrassingly I admit, I foolishly fell for their promises.

Now being naturally curious, passionate, go-getter, my attitude was that even if I only achieve half of what they are promising?-?I will be successful.

I wanted to succeed in my online business. I stubbornly with all enthusiasm and optimism, steadfastly pursued my goals of building an online business.

Sadly I have to admit all my attempts to start an online business were in vain and I never achieved any real success.

‘twenty-twenty hindsight.’

‘twenty-twenty hindsight.’ – is we have a perfect understanding of a situation or events only after they have happened.

So with this ‘twenty-twenty hindsight.’ I have noticed I have subconsciously been sabotaging my life and my online business for many years.

Like most people, I have continuously been trying to better my life, meaning to improve my work circumstance and income prospects.

So with this perfect understanding of a situation, after it has happened, I have decided to share my discovery.

Starting Online Businesses

I have always attempted starting online businesses to run alongside the day job. My hope to earn some extra money leading to slowly build this side business into a full-time income.

As I have always thought to have my feet well-grounded. I didn’t expect to get rich quick. I believe in hard work. So needless to say I expected to work hard and therefore succeed irrespective of how long it may take.

However, I didn’t expect to get caught up in the get rich quick programs or schemes. Not that I was falling for these ideas per se. I wanted to work hard and build a business. It was difficult/impossible to prevent getting involved in a get rich quick scheme. They were all over the internet at the time.

Methods and Training

Now at the time, every success story seemed to be offering their techniques, secret methods and training. So even not interested in getting rich quick schemes, I was inevitably lead down these roads.

Therefore as an entrepreneur trying to start an online business, I tried to follow various business models. So overwhelmed by the considerable learning curve and the wide variety of information available online.

I found myself struggling to know what information was useful, which training program to follow and implement?

Eventually, this was so overwhelming. Including being unsure of who to trust or follow got me unintentionally caught up in the get rich quick schemes which inevitably led to failures.

Therefore every time I would fail in starting an online business, I would regard it as a lesson learnt and then optimistically move on to the next opportunity to start an online business.

However, the result being I gave up on my dreams and goals of online business. Over the next few years not even looking at business ads or anything resembling a business opportunity.

Usually, I would switch off

Then while scanning through YouTube and watching a few videos and suddenly an ad popped up in the middle. Usually, I would switch off and wait for the ad to finish so I could continue to watch the video.

However, to my surprise, something caught my attention. I can’t remember exactly what it was. However, I think I was taken back by the calm, confident and authentic manner in which this person spoke felt I could trust what this guy was saying.

Where I was in my life

I listened to the advertisement intently and subsequently, responded. It had spoken directly to where I was in my life at the time. Well, one thing led to another, and I followed the links loving everything this opportunity had offered.

So my attention was captured. They didn’t try to sell me all the time. Resulting in me feeling like I was being screened or interviewed to find out if I would be a good match for the business model. It seemed as if they were trying to identify if I would put their teaching and training into action.

A win-win situation

Therefore It seemed to me the business was interested in me succeeding as much as I wanted to succeed. and I think the business should benefit from the training they are providing. This is exactly how I believe all business should be?-?a win-win situation.

So the solution to me not Subconsciously Sabotaging my Life & my Business was I needed an honest mentor that would truly be interested in my success as much as I am interested in my success and in the process will train and mentor me to succeed.

This program is going to mentor me in the strategy of building a business and a life I wanted to achieve around the interests I already have.

Their business strategy

Therefore it seemed clear to me that this business wasn’t interested in training me to push their products. Rather they would train me in their business strategy to apply to any niche, market, hobby, interest or anything for which I have a passion.

So if you resonate with anything I have mentioned, then I want to introduce you to my mentors, by offering you a free three-part video training. You will see first hand what training and primarily how the training is delivered.

You will be able to try before you buy. However, you do not have to commit to anything, enter your email and name, and the videos emailed out to you.

However, with twenty-twenty hindsight, I realised that I needed was a good mentor.

Well, how do you determine what is a good mentor?

So how do you determine who is a good mentor?

However, you need to be aware as it is never going to be perfect, but there are things you can look out for to arm yourself to make better decisions.

Firstly find a mentor who has already achieved what you are trying to accomplish yourself or what you are setting out to achieve yourself.

Let me pass on my experience so that you don’t make the same stupid and costly mistakes.

Therefore with twenty-twenty hindsight, I am now able to see and understand a situation after the situation has occurred.

Someone who has achieved

Therefore this mentor should be someone who has achieved and teaches from their experience what you need to do and how you need to do it.

Hopefully, this mentor will still actually be doing the things he/she is teaching you in their own business. Therefore you will not be wasting time on an activity hoping it is going to work.

What has truly amazed me from being involved with my mentor is the depth of insight and wealth of experience to which I have access.

Whole community

I also have access to a host of mentors and a whole community of similar-minded people all very willing to encourage and support each other along their journeys.

Additionally, I have discovered many little tweaks which made all the difference, and that is exactly where the experience is most valuable. For these little tweaks may have taken me years to discover myself, or perhaps never find.

So if you are tired of going it alone, perhaps you are also overwhelmed by where to start with a business online. If you are teachable and willing to be successful, maybe you are the right person for this mentor program.

I am not here to convince you either way?-?you make your mind up.

So now you have nothing to lose. You have to enter your name and email so that the videos emailed to you and will also be put on my subscription list so I can keep in contact with you and send you helpful information on building an online business from the things I learn and input in my business.

However, if you want to unsubscribe. No problem there is an unsubscribe link on every email. We are entirely against spamming, and that is why you will also have to verify you want to receive the emails before you get the videos.

The video training is to show the quality of the training, the content offered, ease of understanding, implement, and delivered.

Benefit from the value

I can assure you will understand the moment the video starts. You will benefit from the value given for free, so take notes and implement your new knowledge.

Therefore you must agree that it makes sense to learn from top achievers.

It also makes complete sense to learn from people who have indeed achieved what you are trying to achieve, right?

So take the mystery out of marketing and learn the proven process that is working for thousands.

More importantly, stop Subconsciously Sabotaging Your Life & Your Business.

You can do this.

P.S.

When you see this you will instantly recognise them & know why they can help you as they helped me.

Therefore online marketing should be fun and it should be profitable and you should get the support you deserve.

This online community will support you and teach you the exact step-by-step process you need to succeed online.

Thus there is no confusion and no pie in the sky or guessing games. Just real results.

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Home Based Business Opportunities Abound On The Internet

Looking for a home business opportunity on the internet these days is a pretty involved process. That is, if you don’t know how to eliminate 90% of the junk that’s out there and pick among the home business opportunities that actually have merit and track records.

What works?

Information sales, auctions, hard goods that can be shipped, books, reports, network marketing, you name it!

There are just certain types of home business opportunities that you want to stay away from. Those are things where someone you don’t know from Adam is making guarantees that are way too good to be true. Anyone who makes it sound like money is dripping from the internet for you to simply catch in a bucket is a liar and a thief.

You will never have success with home business opportunities that promise you that you will never have to work, or make things sound too easy. Take it from a professional, working online or offline with a home business opportunity is work.

But home business opportunities have perks that are better than any job you could ever imagine.

You work for yourself and answer to no one but your customers You can make as much or as little as you want You can work as much or as little as you want You can take time off whenever you want You can make your schedule totally flexible You can work on the internet and work from anywhere in the world You can save money on clothes you had to buy for jobs You can save money on gas, car maintenance and insurance You can get great tax breaks owning your own business Travel and other expenses can be tax deductible

The list of great things I can think of about a home business goes on and on. Here are some of the things that can be a drain on you with a home business opportunity:

You can’t leave your business at certain critical times of growth Your family will sometimes become a distraction when you are working at home Your bed is in the same place as your work There’s no boss to keep you honest about your hours There’s no boss to keep you on your focus to complete critical tasks No one will do the work for you Customers can be a pain sometimes The money in the beginning can come in sporadically (people who cannot handle any kind of financial stress should definitely keep their jobs until their home business opportunity starts paying the bills regularly).

No pain no gain. No risk, no profit. No investment, no return. A home business opportunity is like any other business. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

But for those of us that thrive on making our own way in the world, who love that there is no limit to what we can make, and no one but our spouses to tell us what to do, there is nothing under the sun better than a home business!

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How to Start an Online Business Fast – The 3 Steps You Should Take This Year!

How to start an online business fast and easy using these simple to follow strategies that anyone can implement starting today. Discover how easy it is to get your own business off the ground.

In this article, I will reveal the fastest way to start an online business from scratch and how you can easily quit your 9 to 5 day job using simple marketing systems. Let’s get started…

1.) First you need to pick a target niche. This is a VERY IMPORTANT step. If you pick the wrong niche, you won’t make as much money. I suggest sticking to the top niche topics like Insurance, Health and Wellness, Finance and Make Money Online.

These topics are full of hungry buyers who are eager to solve their problems as fast as possible. It’s up to you to give them the solution to these problems. If you can solve their problems, you can become a very successful internet marketer.

2.) Second, you need to set-up an auto-responder series. This will give you the ultimate POWER over your business. You can set up a series of emails that will give value to your potential buyers and start selling them relevant content.

However, don’t pitch in each email you send. Make sure to give free tips, advice and tactics they can use to benefit their own lives.

3.) Third, you need to send targeted traffic to your lead magnet and start generating leads. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Traffic is King.” Well, it’s true!

If you don’t have people seeing your products, you will never make money from home. So make sure to get the best targeted traffic there is. I suggest “Search Traffic.” It’s the highest targeted traffic you can get.

Articles are a great way to get search engine traffic and promote your online business through SEO. Search engine optimization can drive free traffic to your websites and grow your email marketing list at no cost.

This will take some time to research the right keywords, but it’s totally worth the effort. I suggest that you plan out at least an hour of work per day on this endeavour.

You need to test out different sources of advertising and scale up your business ventures. That’s the golden recipe for success in the online business arena. These 3 steps have taken thousands of people from 0 to 6 figure business’s in as little as a year.

These steps are the best ways you can start an online business fast. Hope you enjoyed!

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The History of Business Communication

The history of business communication is, of course, closely linked with the histories of communication itself and that of business operations. When the two merge, they become a vital part of successful commerce.

Communication is the process where a concept is shared between two living things. It can occur as a gesture, sound or visually in the form of pictures or print. Some of the first forms of visual communication came in the form of pictographs. People conveyed stories, histories or instructions through a series of illustrations usually drawn on the walls of caves. The second stage of written communication appeared as crude alphabets used to create a written language. Mobility of communication also occurred at this time, with the writing being found on clay, wax and tree bark. The next leap was that of the printing press during the 15th century. Next came the tremendous technological advancement using air waves and electronic signals: radio and telephone.

At every stage of communication development, so did business practices. The advent of common alphabets and a written language meant that craftsmen could order raw materials from previously unattainable sources. Consumers living outside of town could order products from tradespeople in town without having to make the trip. Invoices could be written and paid, and purchase orders sent. One could even surmise that international business practices began around this time. Since exploration was taking place, and wonderful new things like spices and fabrics were being brought back home, perhaps now written business communication made it possible for vendors to offer their high-end customers the latest discoveries.

The printing press brought with it books, newspapers and catalogs bearing advertisements for local businesses. Businesses now had an entirely new way to draw in potential new customers. The latest advancements in products could be advertised, as well as sales and new services offered. Catalogs were generally only printed by companies who could afford such a large expense, but for many families who lived in rural areas it was their only means of shopping.

Printed communication served both consumers and business owners well, but when the radio came into use at the end of the 19th century it revolutionized business communication once again. Now the products and services of every business could be marketed on the basis of mass communication. Once a household had a radio, broadcasts could reach far further than any newspaper or catalog. And it was instant. As soon as the message was spoken on the air, the word was out. When print ads were published it could sometimes take weeks or months for a response. Many entrepreneurs who saw the potential in radio became hugely successful. Their market share grew, and with it their profits.

Once radio took off, the telephone and television were not far behind. Of course, at first the telephone was not used for advertising in business, but more of a practical tool. Manufacturers could communicate with raw materials representatives, business owners could communicate with consumers and investors could communicate with their beneficiaries. It was not until the latter part of the 20th century that the telephone was used to advertise for a business, through telemarketing and the facsimile. From its onset, the television was used for marketing purposes. Media broadcasters would recruit local business owners to sponsor their show, in exchange for a few minutes of airtime to advertise their products. The exchange worked well.

When technology brought forth the computer and the internet, business communication radically changed once again. In fact the change was probably as important as when the printing press was invented. Not only could marketing spread further than ever before, but the speed in which it could occur was revolutionary. Business operations could now become much more efficient, further increasing profits. Consumers had more of a say in what they wanted and how they wanted to receive it. In many ways, the middleman was taken out of the equation. There was no longer the need for traveling salespeople. Customers could be reached in a much more cost effective manner through the use of computers and the internet.

Our business practices have become so reliant on these forms of media that it is hard to imagine life with out them. But now that technology has evolved so far, customers are looking for businesses that strive to communicate with their clients in more personal ways. Consumers want personal service in a convenient way, so now business communication must evolve once again.

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Types of Business Signs

These signs are ones that identify and/or advertise a business venture along with the name of the business, location, hours of operation, and more. It can also be one that is located inside the business listing the customer policies, a menu, prices of products, etc. There are many different kinds of business signs such as the monument, channel letters, the pylon, the billboard, and the Electronic Message Center (EMC).

Channel letters

These are consider business signs but each letter on the sign is separated, lighted, and three dimensional in shape. One common form of this type of business signs are the letters that you see on the top of the outside wall of a hotel spelling out their name. Usually as part of this business sign there will be a logo symbol that is separate. You may also see this type of sign over a business doorway like a club or restaurant. It can also be hanging down the side of the business building.

Pylon

These signs are generally tall and can be seen from the road so they are visible to drivers. It can have the name of just one business or list many businesses. One example of a multi-listing pylon business sign would be one that list businesses found in the same shopping center. There are some of these business signs that have a board where the owner can put letters advertising sales announcements or restaurants advertising specials.

Monument

These are signs that are low and near the ground. It is usually placed at the entrance of a company, business, or factory, or in the parking lot. The base of these signs can vary from synthetic materials, to stone, to concrete. You may even see lettering that has been placed straight on a big stone to create unique monument business signs. Around the stone sign you may see a landscape design of plants and flowers.

Billboards

These signs are very big and often have graphics that are eye-catching. Many areas now have requirements, including height requirements, for billboards on major interstates because of their potential to cause a distraction from drivers trying to read them. One requirement in addition to how high they can be is how far they have to be from the highway or road.

Electron Message Center

These business signs are a new technology that offers businesses the capacity to change messages easily and a wide range of colors. Some of these signs may just display the time and temperature or it could have a moving scroll of messages such as things on sale at the business, along with colorful images.

These are just some of the many types of business signs that can be used to promote their business.

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A New Business Guide to Going Green

Many businesses just getting started are finding that the competition for attention on the web is fierce. And these businesses are finding that by going green, they are displaying their corporate responsibility, but they are also finding that there are financial benefits to going green. So how does a new business go green in a responsible way? Start by doing some research on the web and list the ways of which a company can go green. If a company is going to claim to be green, then it must have the consistency in every aspect of the business model. If your business is going to claim to be green, then you must practice what you preach.

Top Ten Ways a New Business Can Go Green:

  1. Comply with all environmental regulations that are relevant to your industry. Compliance not only reduces your company’s environmental footprint, but it also protects the business from any legal actions or fines from the government.
  2. Develop a company-wide environmental plan. Developing a strong environmental plan will help define the corporate culture and boost the energy efficiency of your company to minimize its footprint. The plan should clearly detail the company’s green strategy and encourage divisions throughout the company to follow more green business practices that help to shape the company’s overall environmentally-friendly objectives.
  3. Build green. If your company is opening a new office or expanding locations, now is a good time to include as many energy-efficient features as possible. You can look to install energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, as well as appliances, equipment and lighting.
  4. Buy green products and services. When buying necessary supplies or producing service providers for the company, it is important to think green. Businesses owners should consider filling the supply closets with products that are made from recycled materials or can be recycled, bio-based and non-toxic. Look for office equipment that has an energy-efficient rating, such as Energy Star.
  5. Choose green web hosting. Many business owners have decided to go green with their web site in order be more consistent with their green plan-of-action. Choose a web host that is carbon neutral and offers environmentally friendly wind-powered or solar-powered web hosting. Moving a web site to another web hosting provider is not a difficult task, and many web hosts even offer a free site migration service.
  6. Adopt energy efficient practices. Using more energy-efficient office equipment and implementing energy-reducing practices in the office will help save the environment and your bottom line. Employers should stress to employees that they be prudent and conservative with their energy use and provide energy-saving tips.
  7. Reduce, reuse, recycle waste generated. Streamlining the company’s operations can reduce waste and lead to substantial savings and increased productivity. To save money and reduce waste, small businesses should use post-consumer recycled products and cut back on excessive packaging of products.
  8. Conserve water. A water-efficiency program not only reduces your company’s strain on our nation’s water supply, but it also reduces your company’s costs from buying, heating, treating and disposing of water. Small businesses can reduce water waste by implementing water-saving equipment utilities and should always try to minimize discharges to sewers.
  9. Adopt a company-wide pollution reduction plan. Every business creates waste, but it’s how you deal with it that separates you from the herd. Take steps to minimize waste, whether paper, dirty water or hazardous or toxic waste that requires special handling or disposal.
  10. Create a green marketing strategy. Spread the word about your environmentally-friendly business by incorporating “green” claims in your marketing strategy to boost your brand image. Refer back to tip #5. Many green web hosts offer an emblem or a certification program for webmasters who want to use their web site to display the company’s “green” environmentally friendly status.

One final tip. Join industry partnership and stewardship programs to help you keep abreast of the latest developments in green processes and equipment, but it also helps build relationships with other green business owners in the industry.

As demonstrated, there are numerous shades of green, so going green can equal many different things. If choosing a company-wide green plan is important to you or your organization, then take a closer look at your business plan to find out what green practices are in place in the plan and what changes need to be made. Take into consideration, for example, the everyday practices you plan on implementing and the company’s policy on green practices such as “reduce, reuse and recycle”.

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New Small Business Loans Starter Guide: What Are Your Options for Financing As a New Business Owner?

It’s not easy at all for new businesses to get all of the funding they need. Even if you have excellent personal credit, you still might have trouble obtaining all of the business money you need. The good news is that there are a variety of options available these days, including online banks and crowdfunding. Just take the time to research all of the new small business loans and determine which ones you should try going for.

Microloans might be worth looking into as well. There are SBA microloans, which are typically available up to $50,000, as well as non-profit organizations that offer micro-lending options for up to $35,000.

Before applying to any kind of loan, there are a few factors you must consider about your own finances. In addition to your own credit report, you need proof that you will be able to repay the loan. Make sure you communicate any experience and expertise you have that will be directly applied to the business you are trying to establish.

You’ve probably come to the realization that new small business loans don’t come with the lowest interest rates. If you’ve been in business for less than two years, you will have a more difficult time qualifying for a big loan with a low interest rate. If your credit isn’t the best, you might have to put up some collateral and get a secured loan.

New Small Business Loans for Equipment

If it’s primarily equipment you need, then go for an equipment financial loan. This type of loan is specifically designed to help organizations pay for the equipment and machinery they need for getting started. They are similar in structure to a traditional loan, although the repayment terms can be for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that the proceeds can ONLY be used to purchase the machinery / equipment you need. The downside to an equipment loan, obviously, is that if you default, the lender has the right seize that equipment.

While some entrepreneurs actually take out a personal loan to fund their startup, this might not be the best idea considering that if the business should fail, you and you alone will be responsible for it. Not only will the business fail, but your own personal credit will be destroyed.

Your best bet is to look for new small business loans with online lenders, such as US Business Funding. There are many options available, such as vendor programs, equipment leasing and financing, working capital, and so forth. The approval rate is very high, and you can get started right away.

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When Business Reciprocity Is Appropriate and When It Isn’t

Certain types of reciprocity are appropriate; others aren’t in business dealings. This article discusses three types of reciprocity -gifts, bribes, or kickbacks – and how to distinguish between them.

One type of business reciprocity that would be ethical and appropriate would be a gift, which is something that is given without someone expecting that you or the company will do something for that person in return. Such a gift would generally be something of small value, designed to create warm, positive feelings and show one’s appreciation, or it might be given in a spirit of friendship and continuing to have a good relationship. For instance, some common gifts that would be ethical and appropriate are giving a bottle of wine, flowers, framed photo, small memento of some activity, calendar, poster, or any number of small embossed gifts available through advertising specialty houses that can personalize the gift with the recipient’s name. As an example of this general acceptance of such small gifts, a number of these premium services are accepted in the business community. Some owners are even on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce, showing that there is widespread support for such premium gift giving as an accepted, ethical form of practice. Some members of the Chamber also offer prizes for raffles, which are designed to get recognition for the company, but there are no strings attached for whoever wins the prize. So as a manager of a company, you might ethically offer such a prize.

However, it would not be ethical to offer a bribe or kickback. A bribe is a gift or monetary payment of value to influence someone to do something, while a kickback is a gift or monetary payment of value paid after an exchange. The difference between giving a gift and a bribe is that a bribe is large enough to influence someone to do something or not do something, while a kickback is paid after the fact, whereas there is no such expectation with the gift. For example, a bribe might take the form of an expensive free trip to a travel destination by a hotel or resort in return for promoting the hotel or resort, while a kickback might be providing that free trip after the deal is concluded. Often hotels or resorts offer a free trip to reporters, meeting planners, and travel agents to introduce their hotel or resort, but that is ethical if there is no expectation that the reporters have to write a favorable article, that the meeting planners have to book a meeting there, or that travel agents have to favor their hotel or resort rather than another hotel or resort which would be a better deal. However, it is ethical if the reporters, meeting planners, or travel agents make a voluntary decision after the trip about what they want to do based on what’s best for their readers or clients.

The key difference marking the line between what is ethical and not ethical is the size of the item offered as a gift and the expectation that someone will act in response to having received it or receiving it in the future to benefit the giver of the item in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise act but for getting gift. This influence would be an even greater ethical breach if it leads the recipient to act in a way that is detrimental to others, such as offering an inferior service or a more costly one because of receiving the gift. An even worse breach would be offering a product or service that is harmful, such as sending tourists on a trip by a wholesaler who has inexperienced guides resulting in the death or injury of some participants.

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