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Jeremy Schalf

5 Alternative Funding Options for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Despite the $349 billion allocated to small businesses in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, an overwhelming number of business owners across the country have found themselves on their own. They have received nothing. Some were told they had missed the first round of funding and then watched as institutions like Harvard and large public companies received millions of dollars.

Between social distancing practices, intermittent shutdowns, and disappointing stimulus packages, devasted business owners are trying to stay afloat and get to the other side of this crisis. To make matters worse, lender and investors that are typically more than happy to work with small business owners have put temporary holds on new funding. This has caused business funding options to be even scarcer than usual.

Here are a few different options if your business needs quick capital to boost cash flow and keep things running as smoothly as possible:

1.     Friends and family

One of the most common ways business owners finds funding to start their company, manage unexpected costs, and stay afloat during difficult times is borrowing from friends and family. The biggest advantage of this source of cash is that it typically involves flexible terms and quick capital. Especially, if you already have a family member(s) involved in your business, this option may make sense for you.

2.     Merchant cash advance

A merchant cash advance is not really a loan. It is actually a cash advance based on your business’ future credit and debit card sales. Many business owners have turned to this option because they can have cash in their business’ checking account fast – sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Another advantage is that merchant cash providers evaluate applicants differently than traditional lenders, making it easier for businesses that struggle with bad credit or are considered high risk to be approved.

3.     Unsecured personal loan

Although many lenders have put temporary holds on funding small business loans, there are still online lenders ready to help. These alternative business lenders can offer your small business a fast, unsecured personal loan. The advantage of this option is that they require minimal underwriting and business financials. You might simply need to provide a few years of tax returns and a personal credit check.

4.     Refinancing short-term debt

This process involves taking out a new long-term loan, so you can use the funds to pay off your short-term debts (e.g. business credit cards, business lines of credit, etc.). In truth, it might be difficult during this crisis to find a lender willing to help you consolidate or refinance your business loans, but if you can it will help you lower your monthly payments and save money in interest charges. It will also free up cash for you to fund day-to-day operations during this time.

5.     Negotiate terms with vendors

Another option is to negotiate terms with your vendors; they are likely also feeling the stress of the economic shutdown and really need to get paid too. With so many businesses in a tight spot right now, they might be willing to stretch your payments over a longer period of time. Depending on your situation, you might also want to see if they will settle outstanding invoices now at a discount.

Every business is unique. Not all of the above business funding options will be right for your business. The key is to thoroughly understand your business’ financials, research all of your options, and then choose the option that will help your business during these turbulent times (without incurring excessive debt).

Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners with their merchant cash advance solutions. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientific dating… But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.

A wholesaler is an individual protagonist in a clothing business

Fashion is an interminable entreaty among women and men or all age groups throughout the world. The primary reason for that running a clothing profession is a great choice forever while you are hunting for an innovative business notion. Whether you aim at born child’s garments or female’ attire or even keeping a shop that fundamentally provides to complete demographics, you will identify enormous clients with the best clothing shop forever. In a smart world, everything has become fashionable and trendy. Numerous unique products have been familiarized universally.

Typically, modification in the trend offers fresh fashion probabilities. Several kinds of original clothing organization have been hosted in contemporary times. Each fashion wholesaler needs to get somewhat curiosity to the reliable patrons based on design, excellence, affordability, quantity, and many more. On-fashion also comes widely makeshift with massive colonize changes to the modern trend. Naturally, clothing wholesaler is needed to encounter entire demands and entails to the worth of the clients. Notably, it gives mammoth welfares to the maximum with no issues.

Wholesaler for an apparel business

The significance of wholesale apparel suppliers for a clothing stockpile will not be destabilized. Every wholesaler is merchants who purchase attire from attire producers in bulk amounts and distribute them to different retailers. At the same time, a wholesaler can give you trade-in products as good as attire that is manufactured by the producer. They can also provide you garment substance or readymade clothes, or both based on what you like better. This clothing wholesaler can also stretch you wide varieties of garments trimmings that comprise lids, socks, boaters, mufflers, and scarfs in dissimilar material and designs. If you are hunting to attain in trace with a wholesaler who can offer you first-class quality attire after it essential that you need to search them initially. No worry! The Internet is the best option to find out your trustworthy wholesaler.

The prominence of a wholesaler in the clothing business

In an emerging technology, numerous attire profession has been enhanced. Wholesaler’s profession chiefly augmented huge; equally, there is an advanced improvement in turnover to the maximum. The chief progression comprised in this business is purchasing attire from a producer and vends them for merchants. Both the traders and dealers obtain profits through this procedure.

Easy access to the goods

In an occupation, fashion wholesaler majorly offers you authentic products and amenities for the purchaser. Wholesaler never creates it possess acquisition or making the goods. Meanwhile, the buying superiority is too squat, after it faces the lesser order of distributors. Then, it is a convenient choice for getting superior costs with outstanding purchase choice across a grander amount. A wholesaler will be vending the goods to a massive number of a purchaser for collation the quantities that cup tie the full sellers. It also merely permits the clothing wholesaler to get lesser cost goods from the suppliers.

Easy access to a souk

Retailers chiefly have too boundaries access the products, and they can’t merely get even with no assist given with welfares for the suppliers. It also unlocks huge souk chances for the dealers. Suppliers majorly have merchandise acquired, which also builds accessible for vend in the retailing pipes.

Stop Debt Collectors Cold

Some collectors would call you every day. It is distressing because the conversation is repetitive. He tells you that your account is delinquent and you tell him that you cannot pay (probably because you lost your job or you spent a lot on medical bills). Whatever it is, the debt collector continues to tell you that he will continue the collection efforts. You can request him to stop calling you and tell him that you will write a certified letter. The calls may continue until they have received the letter.

You can ask the debt collector to stop calling you on your next conversation but writing a letter to the debt collection agency is the surefire way to make the calls stop. In your letter, ask the collection agency to verify the debt and stop calling you unless they have already verified it. It will usually take long for them to verify the debt. Sometimes, it is impossible for them to do it.

Many debts are passed on to third party collection agencies by assignment or purchase. With assignment, the original creditor hires them only to collect but the debt is still in the original creditor. With purchase, you now own the collection agency. Whatever the case is, you don’t know the collector simply because you borrowed money from a different agency or company. No one in his right mind will give a huge amount of money to someone he just met, right? A verification of debt is indeed needed.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives you the right to ask the debt collection agencies to verify the debt and prove that they are collecting for the original creditor. The proofs may include a hard copy of the debt transfer or purchase where your account is included in the batch. Watch out for the collection agencies that send only a cover letter where you see a page signed by the original creditor and the collection agency stating the purchase of debt. Look for the list of sold debt account number and name.

The FDCPA also gives the third party collection agencies a deadline in verifying the debts. They need to send the verification letter within five days. It must include important details such as the name of the original creditor and the amount of your debt. You can dispute their verification letter within 30 days and make the collection agency a proof that it is your debt. They don’t have a deadline for this and their collectors can still contact you unless you formally ask them to stop phone communications through a certified mail return receipt requested. The proofs must include a proof that the collection agency holds your debt, a history of your payment and a copy of your original contract (the one with the original creditor).

Fight Back Against Debt Claims

Read and Understand the Notice

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act give debtors the upper hand in any consumer debt claims so don’t be too quick to hand over your hard earned money once you see a collection letter in your mail. First, read and understand the notice and then check if they got the right person. Some collection agencies are known for sending collection letters to the wrong address. Note if the debt amount is clearly defined and their contact details, so you can respond accordingly.

Respond to the Notice

Once you read and understood the notice, it’s time to respond to it. The worst thing you can do at this point is to ignore the notice as this could result in a credit card lawsuit. Your silence over the issue could be translated as consent on the debt’s ownership! You will be given 30 days to dispute the debt so make sure you send an appropriate response within the given time frame.

Check the Rules

If the debt is sent to you by mistake, it’s important to let the debt collection agency know in writing. Send the letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. On the other hand, if you own the debt, it’s best to check if the debt is within statutes. If the debt is out of statutes, the creditor can no longer file a credit card lawsuit nor threaten you with filing a credit card lawsuit to get you to pay.

Take Action

Accepting or rejecting the debt claim is entirely up to you. If the debt is indeed yours, you can either offer a lump sum to repay the debt or propose a payment plan. If the debt is valid and legal, it is best to do the right thing and repay the debt to avoid a credit card lawsuit. However, do not respond to threats, abusive behavior or bullying. If such things occur during the course of the debt validation, you can sue the debt collection companies for violating consumer rights under the FDCPA.

Handling Your Debt

Every single person who earns a stable income, and doesn’t fall prey to any terrible misfortunes, should be able to build a sizeable nest egg for himself or herself with a little self discipline. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, if you plan properly, you will be able to save.

The trick is to delay gratification when it comes to spending. Ask yourself what the real cost of an impulse purchase will be. Think of what it will cost you today and also tomorrow. One of the worst reasons for over spending is because you want to compete with somebody. Always trying to have better things than the next person can turn into a disease and severely hamper your financial stability. People guilty of doing this will normally over spend and then borrow more and more money, putting themselves into serious debt.

Avoid the debt-trap at all costs, because once you are servicing your debts by borrowing money from elsewhere, it is extremely difficult to get out of. These debt relief tips may be for you.

It is never too early to start saving. Even as little as 5% of your income will add up to a lot of money over time. This is the magic of compound interest. Saving is far better than borrowing and incurring debt and you can make sure that you are comfortable later on. A good way to save is to sign a debit order. In this way, you can write off your debit orders each month and budget around what is left afterwards. Saving is far better than borrowing and incurring debt and you can make sure that you are comfortable later on.

Here are some things you need to watch out for.

Make sure that your debt repayments don’t exceed 40% of your take home pay. If they get as high as 50%, then you know that you are in serious trouble.

If your vehicle is not insured, then you are at risk. If you don’t have a will, make one fast.

Resist all offers for finance, as this is the fastest way to get in the red.

If purchasing a vehicle, make sure the repayments are not higher than 17% of your salary.

Make sure that any saving that you are contributing to are working on a compound and not a simple interest system.

With just a little will power and some savvy saving, you will be living the retirement of your dreams.

Corporate Banking and Its Products

Products under Corporate Banking

Project Loan: Commercial banks offer project loan to export-oriented customers for setting up new projects as well as for expansion of an existing projects. To finance costs of building, machinery, equipments, vehicles and other fixed expenses may be the objective of project Loan. Project Loan is provided to the customers in the form of hire purchase, lease finance, loan general etc.

Working Capital Finance: Business enterprises engaged in manufacturing, trading service business are eligible to avail working capital loan to meet day-to-day expenses for processing of manufacturing and selling product and services. Working capital products include both fund and non-fund based products. Fund-based working capital products include secured over draft, cash credit, packing credit, short-term loans payable on demand bank guarantees. Non-fund based products include bank guarantee; performance guarantees and bid bonds are also supporting the business of our customers.

Lease Financing: Lease financing became a thrust sector for individual and small enterprise besides medium and large enterprises. Commercial bank has been providing lease finance facility to its customer for acquisition of manufacturing and service equipments for all major industrial sectors.

Syndication Finance: commercial banks have been financing large-scale projects under syndication arrangement to raise and meet huge credit need of a company. This arrangement allows the banks to share expertise among them and diversify its credit risks. Syndicated loan as loans extended by multiple banks where the overall credit involved exceeds an individual lender’s legal lending or other limits. It is made available by a group of financial institutions in pre-defined proportions under the same credit facility following common loan documentation formalities.

Trade Finance

  • Letter of Credit: Business Enterprises can avail Non-funded facility for import and procurement of raw materials, machinery, equipment, merchandise item.
  • Loan against Imported Merchandize: Business Enterprises engaged in import merchandise can avail working capital for retirement of import documents.
  • Loan against Trust Receipt: Business Enterprises engaged in import of merchandise can avail working capital for retirement of import documents.

Greater Limits for the Perfect Writing Plans

Once you have your problem and you have advanced on your research, you can make the plan. Depending on the institution in which you study, you will receive instructions on the type of plan to set up. Argumentary dissertation plan, explanatory essay plan, narrative dissertation plan, there are many possibilities.

The plan is the simplest part, we ask them to devote the first part to a review of the literature, the second part is dedicated to the field, and the third part consists of recommendations. Then you have to make a conclusion with an opening. The simplest plans are the most effective.

To compose your plan, do not hesitate to leaf through the memoirs written by former students of your class. You will give ideas and you will realize what can (or not) be done.

And if you are more of a “visual” type, you can also build the skeleton of your memory using visual plans, using the mind mapping technique. It will allow you to organize your ideas well. In particular, you can use it to cross out the written parts and report on your progress. Now that there is no chance for fraud  you can actually come up with the best deals.

Perform fieldwork

Most of the time, when you carry out a research dissertation, you will have to do a “field” part in order to have quantitative data to exploit. This part is also often called the “empirical part” of the memoir.

We have to think carefully about its methodology so that the field on which we are going to be well representative of the various points of view on the subject, specifies the expert. Students may have a tendency to go into an area and think that it necessarily happens everywhere. We tell them that they must cross their research: in different sectors, in different companies, with executives, employees, and managers. The method must be representative of the different trends.

This will allow you to verify the hypotheses you have made. By carrying out this empirical part, you will be able to make field observations and thus have a more in-depth analysis of your subject.

For the sample of people to be interviewed, everything depends on the mother population. If you interview 500 people and your study covers the entire earth, the bias will be large. With the quota method, we can have a representative sample. We recommend smoothing out a certain number of results, considering that they should not be taken literally. Students must always be careful and aware of all of this. They must not always draw generalities, they must specify the limits of their sample, show that they are aware of it.

Then comes the writing part

You have your problem, your plan, your hypotheses, your documentary research, and your fieldwork are over. You just have to articulate everything and write your memoir.

Securing Financial Future

Questions to Raise

When dealing with an investment broker, advisor, or agent, how certain questions are answered can point out reasons not to work with those individuals. For instance, asking them what methods of compensation they work with, fee-based, or commission, as such if they outright refuse to discuss or even hurry through their explanation, this gives just cause to walk away immediately. The thing to keep in mind is that as an investor, you are the boss, which means, that the adviser works for you and should be completely transparent about how they are compensated for their services.

Looking into this aspect further, if they receive payments via commissions from selling products they need to prove there is no conflict of interests. What may occur is they would try to entice an investor to spend money on something that provides a higher commission for them. This is one issue when dealing with brokers or advisers that work with third party entities. It is their intent, if they are legitimate to put their customers’ needs first. While most planners design their services to receive payment for advice it is best to keep control over the amount of money paid for a given financial plan. What should work is having a plan separated into smaller sections where the outcome is easily visible. This way it puts a limit on the amount of monies transferred into the financial plan for the onset instead of making a one-time larger investment on a plan that shows little to no gain.

Always Stay in the Loop

It will pay to stay on top of anything and everything an advisor is doing. Always make sure you understand any pros or cons about any type of suggested investments and ensure you keep a close eye on the ‘paper trail’ and that you scrutinize all billing statements and account balances they provide. Additionally, if these reports are received only from the advisor, ask why, there should be reports coming from other sources, such as the companies, mutual funds, or annuities that are part of your portfolio. If not, then something is being hidden from you.

As far as what they are suggesting what, in their minds, is a good investment, they should allow you plenty of time for you to research it on your own if you feel the need. Additionally, it helps for them to explain why, how and what makes their decision on a given investment viable for your portfolio. If they attempt any form of pressure this indicates there is something they are not telling you. The breakdown of your portfolio should be understandable in addition to the amount of fees that go for the advisor’s compensation in addition to where these fees are coming from.

Part of your discussion of an investment strategy should include real time information about the trades that occur germane to the management of your portfolio. This means that they disclose all gains and losses that impact the integrity of the investment fund.

It is a Case of Buyer Beware

Common sense dictates that when money is involved, it behooves us to investigate all avenues of a given situation before making any final decisions on where the money goes. The favorite targets for unscrupulous financial planners, brokers, or advisors are the elderly and the uninitiated to the investment markets. Therefore, never act on emailed investment options or those received through snail-mail, (your mailbox). Always ask probing questions into the reasons certain investments out weigh others, and always read any paperwork put in front of you before you sign it. Remember, investing in anything is risky and nothing is guaranteed specifically anything to do with mutual funds, stocks, bonds, annuities, or even real estate. Do your due diligence before hiring a financial planner, advisor or agent. It can save you money

Ways to Teaching Your Young Child About Money

What is money? Children quickly learn mom and dad use money to buy stuff, but they usually lack the understanding of where that money comes from.

  • It can be helpful to give them an example of bartering. Explain that long ago, a person might have traded a horse for a cow. But having money allows someone to buy a cow, even if that person doesn’t want a horse in exchange.
  • Discuss with your children about how people have jobs and work so they can earn money to pay for a house, car, clothing, entertainment, and other expenses.
  • Make the point that money is a medium of exchange. You have likely exchanged a certain number of hours of your time to earn $100. You then spend that $100 on goods or services worth $100.
  • Show them all the different types of money, including coins, and explain the values.

Let them earn money. This is the best way to show them how money works. Let’s dispel the misconception that money magically appears from the ATM. Give your children small jobs to do in exchange for money. Explain to them how your family earns money.

Goods and services are exchanged for money. Explain to your child that money is exchanged for value, and that value is either a good or a service.

Give some examples of goods. Furniture, toys, games, and food are some examples of goods. Ask them to name a few more.

Also give examples of services. Your state pays teachers for providing a service. Paying someone to paint your house is another type of service. A doctor also provides a service to his patients.

Explain that money isn’t normally just given to an adult. Money must be earned by providing a service through some type of job.

Needs vs. wants. It can be helpful to explain to your child the difference between needs and wants. Give them a list of each. Make a game out of it. See whether they can guess whether an item is a need or a want.

  • Some examples of some needs include food, water, clothes, home, and heat.
  • Wants would be toys, eating out at a restaurant, magazines, and owning a television. These are items a child can relate to.
  • Explain that needs always come first and sometimes there isn’t enough money to buy everything you might want. Sometimes you have to choose.

Open a savings account in your child’s name. Most banks have special savings accounts for children with minimal fees or none at all.

  • Discuss with your child why people keep their money in banks.
  • Explain how interest works. Encourage your child to continue building their savings account so they can earn more interest.
  • Go over the monthly statements with your child so they have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the process.

Teaching a young child about money is a great first step to ensuring a life with minimal financial worries in adulthood. Most financial issues can be avoided by having good habits and an appreciation for money. Teaching your child about finances is one of the best things you can do for them.

Being Broke and Being Poor

The misunderstanding and abuse also reflect in their financial attitudes. Since financial attitudes determine financial altitudes, most people are hardly able to achieve any meaningful financial success all through their adult life, despite being very hardworking, because they have wrong financial notions, and deceptive financial mentalities and philosophies. They just cannot excel in their finances because their mindsets are hostile to the accumulation of material riches and wealth.

This is why it is important that you ascertain that your mindset is hospitable to wealth creation prior to aspiring to becoming rich. Among the most unpopular financial terms that are misunderstood are the phrases ‘being broke’ and ‘being poor’. It is imperative that you understand these concepts and how they are related so that you can take advantage of the knowledge in your journey to financial success because they are neither synonyms nor interchangeable phrases.

Being broke means having no money to address immediate financial challenges. However, being broke is not the same with being poor. The reason for this claim is that you can be broke without being poor, and you can also be poor without being broke. In order to explain these, there is the need to understand the meanings of the phrase, ‘being poor’. What does it mean to be poor? There are three definitions of being poor. The definitions correspond to the three levels of poverty.

The first definition of being poor is having no money to meet immediate basic financial challenges and needs. This is the highest level of poverty. It may be called abject poverty, absolute poverty, critical poverty, total poverty, severe poverty or acute poverty. This type of poverty is most undesirable because it is unworthy of any human being. People who experience it cannot afford the basic necessities of life. It is usually the status of people in societies with irresponsible leadership.

The second definition of being poor is having little (or insufficient) money to meet immediate and basic financial challenges and needs. It may also be called mild poverty. Unlike people who live in abject poverty, people who experience mild poverty can only meet part of their immediate basic financial challenges. This is also a condition that is unworthy of any human being. It is a condition that is undesirable by every human being because it degrades an individual’s human dignity.

The last definition of being poor is having money to meet only immediate needs. This can be described as moderate poverty or modest poverty. People in this category do not have more than they need. They will move to the second level of poverty, i.e. having insufficient money to meet their immediate and basic financial challenges, once they are out of earning. This is why they must continually work and earn before they can meet their financial needs. This is the class the so-called average people belong.

From the above, it may appear that it is better to be poor (at least in the second and third senses) than to be broke since it is better to have little money (than to have no money) to meet immediate financial challenges. You need to understand the true meanings of these phrases and their relevance to your financial life so that you can properly guide yourself in your financial pilgrimage. There are some relationships that exist between ‘being poor’ and ‘being broke’. They are as follows:

You may be poor and broke. This condition is experienced by people who live in abject poverty. It was earlier remarked that the first definition of being poor is having no money to meet immediate and basic financial challenges and needs. People who are poor and broke are those who have no money to meet their immediate and basic financial challenges and needs. They are people who experience First Class Poverty because they are always poor and broke.

You may be poor but not broke. It was remarked that the second definition of being poor is having little (or insufficient) money to meet basic financial challenges and needs. The implication of this definition is that you are poor if all the money you have is only good enough to meet your immediate financial challenges. People in this category will have no money to meet their basic needs in the near future, if they do not earn additional income.

However, inferring from the definition of being broke above, you are not broke for as long as you have enough money to meet your immediate needs; though, this does not imply that you are rich. It is worthy of note that some poor people are hardly broke because all their incomes serve the purpose of meeting their immediate needs, and they always live within their income. As earlier remarked, this does not imply that they are rich. They are simply moderately poor.

You may be rich but broke. Many rich people are always broke in the process of building a healthier financial future. One of the principles of success is that you should set goals that are (a little) above your abilities. When you set such goals, you must raise your ability to the level of the goal before you can accomplish it. This is why the accomplishment of such goals improves your life. This is also why you change in the process of striving to accomplish such goals.

As a matter of fact, sometimes, you should be broke because of your plans for a better and brighter financial future. When you set financial goals that are above your financial strength, no matter how rich you are, you will have to seek financial assistance in order to achieve the goal. This usually involves obtaining loan(s). This is why rich people, like the poor, also borrow money. But this does not mean that they are poor.

The difference, however, is that rich people do not borrow money to meet their basic necessities of life. They borrow money in order to fund the acquisition of investments. This is why borrowing is not necessarily a sign of poverty. When a rich person puts all his money in a prospective project, he is broke but not poor. If you truly desire to be rich, you should be prepared to be broke sometimes because of your financial plans. It is better to be rich but broke, than to be poor but not broke.