Entrepreneurship http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4815/all en-US Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/chase-ink-cash-business-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chase-ink-cash-business-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017853792_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In addition to a variety of highly-rated consumer credit cards, Chase also offers popular business credit cards. If you're a small business owner looking for a way to easily earn cash back on business-related purchases, the Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card may be the card for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>$200 sign-up bonus</li> <li>Up to 5% cash back on office expenses</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card offers 5% cash back on office supply store purchases, cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services on up to $25,000 in combined purchases every year. You can also earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up $25,000 in combined purchases each year, and 1% cash back on all other purchases made with the card. You'll earn 1% cash back after you reach the $25,000 limit each year. There's no limit to the cash back you can earn, and your cash back rewards will never expire. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up offer</strong>: Earn $200 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, then 13.24% APR.</p> <p>This card awards cash back in the form of points with one point being equal to one cent. You can redeem your points for cash at 2,000 points for a $20 statement credit or electronic deposit into a checking or savings account. You can also redeem for travel or gift cards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you redeem for gift cards you can earn a 10% discount. As an example, you could redeem 4,500 points, which normally have a $45 cash value, for a $50 gift card. There is also an opportunity to pay for all or part of your Amazon.com purchases with points.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free employee cards</strong>. Earn more cash back by providing your employees their own cards.</p> <p><strong>Ink App</strong>. As a cardmember, you'll receive access to the Ink App, which allows you to track your purchases and your employees' purchases. You can also access reports and snap photographs, save, and download receipts for convenient organization of business expenses. The Ink App also lets you tag purchases with customizable categories, making end of the year accounting simpler.</p> <p><strong>Purchase protection</strong>. Purchases made with this card are protected 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranty</strong>. Extended warranty protection covers your purchases on the card for an additional year on U.S. manufacturers' warranties of three years or less.</p> <p><strong>Chase Blueprint</strong>. Available only on certain Chase credit cards, the Chase Blueprint feature allows you to separate your purchases and choose to avoid interest charges by paying certain expenses in full, or you can designate a monthly payment plan to pay your balance down faster. Blueprint also provides reports with spending trends so you can see where you are spending the most.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>13.49% APR (0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles after your account opening.); 25.24% Cash Advance APR; 29.99% Penalty APR</li> <li>5% Balance Transfer Fee ($5 minimum)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus</strong>. If you spend $3,000 with your card within the first three months of opening the account, you can receive a bonus worth $200. This bonus is one of the most valuable cash rewards offered with a credit card, especially among those without annual fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=seealso">5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Cash for Sign Up</a>)</p> <p><strong>0% introductory APR</strong>. If you need to transfer a balance from a high APR card or make a large purchase to get your business going, you'll have 12 months to pay down the balance without the added expense of interest with this card. The introductory APR not only saves you money but is also one of the longest introductory periods for both balance transfers and purchases being offered by business credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards with 0% Intro APR</a>)</p> <p><strong>5% cash back on business purchases</strong>. You can earn as much as 5% cash back in a broad range of business-related expenses, which can help cut the costs in those categories. Business credit cards offering 5% cash back on office supply purchases specifically are limited. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Cap of $25,000 on bonus categories</strong>. If your expenses in either the 5% or 2% categories total more than $25,000 per anniversary year, those purchases will only earn 1% cash back once you reach the cap. If your purchases in those reward categories are typically more than $25,000 per year, you might earn more cash back with the Chase Ink Plus credit card which allows you to earn bonus cash back in those categories for up to $50,000 in purchases per year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. If the majority of your business expenses are foreign transactions or if your business requires traveling abroad, those purchases will incur a fee of 3%, which cancels out a large amount of the rewards you earn. If your expenses are primarily international, you should instead consider a business credit card such as the Capital One Spark Cash Business, which also offer rewards on business purchases, but do not charge foreign transaction fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>High balance transfer fee. </strong>Most credit cards charge a balance transfer fee of 3%. This card has a 5% fee, which takes away part of the benefit of transferring a balance (to save as much as possible on interest). Depending on the interest you're currently paying, and other options you might have for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">transferring a balance at 0% APR</a>, this might not be the best card for that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=seealso">Best Cards with $0 Balance Transfer Fee</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card is best for small business owners who spend less than $25,000 per year in office supply store, cable, internet, cell phone, gas, or restaurant purchases in order to earn the most cash back. This card is also best for those whose business expenses are more office related rather than travel related and are primarily domestic purchases, and it can be especially ideal for those who are just getting their businesses going or plan on a large purchase right away thanks to the card's sign-up bonus and introductory APR offers.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-ink-cash-business-credit-card-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card">When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-a-more-rewarding-way-to-shop">Chase Freedom: A More Rewarding Way to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-hotel-rewards-card-for-free-nights-marriott-rewards-premier-credit-card">The Best Hotel Rewards Card for Free Nights: Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-together-for-less-with-british-airways-visa-signature-credit-card">Travel Together For Less with British Airways Visa Signature&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-nights-with-ihg-rewards-club-select-credit-card">Get Free Nights with IHG&amp;reg; Rewards Club Select Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Entrepreneurship chase credit card reviews Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:29:18 +0000 Christina Majaski 1645521 at http://www.wisebread.com The Top 7 Blogs for Entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_shop_000079380831.jpg" alt="Woman reading best blogs for entrepreneurs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time is money. Nobody understands that better than U.S entrepreneurs and business owners. When asked on Reddit about the most painful problems they face on a day-to-day basis, most business owners complained about time &mdash; time to meet deadlines at a neck-breaking pace, time to collect payments from clients, time to keep the company books up to date.</p> <p>Still, entrepreneurs and business owners know the importance of keeping up with the latest developments in entrepreneurship and learning from successful business leaders. For those that can't afford sitting down to read an entire book, here are the seven best blogs for entrepreneurs.</p> <h2>1. Seth's Blog</h2> <p>Efficient and effective are the best words to describe the blog posts from marketing expert Seth Godin. He has authored several bestsellers on marketing, such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684856360/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0684856360&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WXHTSPV7ZMULTXRA">Permission Marketing</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591843170/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1591843170&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=S77KRX62DUNYSA3C">Purple Cow</a>, and on entrepreneurship, such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FA0LAI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FA0LAI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BZOKCESTJLA7JT2P">Tribes</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591846072/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1591846072&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OCBV4XHWH3SZU5BX">The Icarus Deception</a>.</p> <p>At <a href="http://sethgodin.typepad.com">Seth's Blog</a>, you can find tips on many business topics, including how to create additional revenue streams from freelancing, why it's important to maintain high quality at all times, and how to purchase advertising. Most of Godin's posts take less than five minutes to read, but they are guaranteed to get you thinking about key issues in entrepreneurship.</p> <h2>2. Occam's Razor</h2> <p>In his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470130652/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0470130652&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XBJ67YJCGANGKXDI">Web Analytics: An Hour a Day</a>, Avinash Kaushik provides a step-by-step guide on successful web analytics strategy for your business website. And as search engines tweak their search algorithms on a rolling basis and emerging social media companies rule the Internet, some data and processes require constant revision.</p> <p>At the <a href="http://www.kaushik.net">Occam's Razor blog</a>, Kaushik provides analysis of important web analytics and digital marketing topics for entrepreneurs, such as how to use social media as a business. Unlike other bloggers, Kaushik backs up all his claims with actual data (he's a self-professed &quot;web analytics ninja,&quot; after all!), utilizes plenty of screenshots (particularly useful for users of Google Analytics), and provides actionable takeaways. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging">5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging</a>)</p> <h2>3. Guy Kawasaki's Blog</h2> <p>Known as the father of evangelism marketing for his work with Apple in the early '80s, Guy Kawasaki is a prolific businessman and author. With 1.69 million followers on LinkedIn and 1.46 million followers on Twitter, Kawasaki is a thought leader in entrepreneurship, marketing, and PR.</p> <p>While <a href="http://guykawasaki.com/blog">Kawasaki's blog</a> skews a bit towards tech startups, his writing is still applicable to other industries. For example, he provides insights on the<a href="http://guykawasaki.com/how-to-launch-and-why-scaling-doesnt-matter/"> importance of scale in business</a>, guidelines on how to <a href="http://guykawasaki.com/the-art-of-the-panel/">excel at a conference panel</a>, and tips for <a href="http://guykawasaki.com/ten-easy-ways-to-make-your-pitch-rock/">making your pitch rock</a>.</p> <h2>4. 500 Hats</h2> <p>A member of the famous &quot;PayPal Mafia&quot; (he was the Director of Marketing at PayPal from 2001 to 2004), Dave McClure is a prominent entrepreneur and angel investor. McClure knows his stuff and helps run a fund that makes investments ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 in startups. At his blog <a href="https://500hats.com/">500 Hats</a> (one of the most-read blogs by venture capitalists, according to the Wall Street Journal), he provides an inside view into the world of venture capitalism and angel investing.</p> <p>For those looking to launch or optimize their startup, developing a good understanding of what investors are looking for in a startup is essential for survival. Startup owners can learn what makes investors tick at McClure's current and previous blog (<a href="http://500hats.typepad.com">Master of 500 Hats</a>).</p> <h2>5. Gary Vaynerchuk's Blog</h2> <p>Owners of family businesses will find <a href="http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/blog/">Gary Vaynerchuk</a> to be an inspiration. In just five years, he took his family wine business from a respectable $3 million revenue operation to a $60 million revenue powerhouse.</p> <p>Vaynerchuk is a big fan of no-nonsense advice and his blog is proof of that. Every single one of his posts provides an estimate of how long it will take you to read it (most reads are under four minutes). In addition of his blog, check out his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfA33-E9P7FC0AoARnMLvgFgESJe4_Ngs">#AskGaryVeeShow</a> on YouTube in which he answers questions about marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship submitted via Twitter.</p> <h2>6. Kabbage Small Business Blog</h2> <p>When you're a small business owner, you have a lot of questions. A great place for finding the answer to many of those questions is the Kabbage <a href="http://www.kabbage.com/blog/">Small Business Blog</a>. <em>(Disclaimer: Until December 2015, I contributed to this blog.)</em> What makes this blog stand out from others is that it caters to minority small business owners, offering advice on finding funding options and providing success stories from peers.</p> <p>From determining when you have enough money to <a href="https://www.kabbage.com/blog/do-you-have-enough-money-to-hire-your-first-employee/">hire your first employee</a>, to how to <a href="https://www.kabbage.com/blog/webinar/3-steps-to-improve-your-business-credit-report-establish-build-monitor/">improve your business credit score</a>, to where to find <a href="http://www.kabbage.com/blog/11-grants-for-women-owned-businesses-you-need-to-know-about/">grants for women-owned businesses</a>, the Small Business Blog covers a wide variety of topics relevant to small business owners of all backgrounds.</p> <h2>7. Brian Solis</h2> <p>A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Brian Solis keeps an eye on the latest technological developments and their effects on business and marketing. Solis constantly seeks ways that businesses can leverage technology to improve the customer experience.</p> <p>On the <a href="http://www.briansolis.com/#">Brian Solis blog</a>, you will find tips on how to deliver a better customer service experience, such as to stop <a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2015/02/deliver-great-customer-experience-stop-focusing-customer/">making unsupported assumptions</a> about your customers and to deliver a <a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2015/07/creating-truly-personal-omni-channel-customer-experiences-2/">consistent customer experience</a> across all channels. This is key because, after all, without customers you won't have a business.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite blogs on entrepreneurship?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-books-for-entrepreneurs">The 8 Best Books for Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-internet-riches">Book review: Internet Riches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-wordpress-for-blogging-and-more">Using WordPress for Blogging and More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship blogs books inspiration small businesses time management Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1630354 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Books for Entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-books-for-entrepreneurs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-books-for-entrepreneurs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_books_000047674572.jpg" alt="Woman reading best books for entrepreneurs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America is truly the land of opportunity.</p> <p>According to a study sponsored by Babson College and Baruch College, the U.S. now has <a href="http://www.inc.com/leigh-buchanan/us-entrepreneurship-reaches-record-highs.html">27 million entrepreneurs</a> (about 14% of the total population). And many of these American entrepreneurs are thriving &mdash; 24% of them expect to employ 20 or more people in the next five years.</p> <p>If you want to learn the ropes of entrepreneurialism, real-life experience is your best bet, but reading on the subject can also provide you with essential insights necessary for success. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur eager to become your own boss, or a seasoned business owner seeking to take your startup to the next level, here are the eight best books to help you on your business venture.</p> <h2>1. Four Steps to the Epiphany</h2> <p>Often referred as the father of the Lean Startup revolution, Steve Blank is a seasoned entrepreneur (starting eight high-tech companies over 21 years), entrepreneurship author, and professor (U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley joint MBA program). In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989200507/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0989200507&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JOMQJOOX36JE3RHG">The Four Steps to the Epiphany</a>, Blank explains the practical and proven four-step customer development process, which is key to launching and maintaining a sustainable startup.</p> <h2>2. Web Analytics: An Hour a Day</h2> <p>Don't undermine your business venture by leaving it offline. According to a Google and Ipsos survey of more than 3,800 small businesses, 58% of them <a href="http://www.inc.com/associated-press/small-businesses-have-no-website.html">didn't have a website</a>. But setting up a website is just the first step &mdash; you also need to understand how it performs. For this, you should leverage web analytics, which is the process of using data to assess and improve the effectiveness of a site. Learn from world-renowned analytics expert Avinash Kaushik through his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470130652/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0470130652&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VJ5XWHMCML7YFWJ5">Web Analytics: An Hour a Day</a>. As its name implies, Kaushik's book provides a daily guide to understanding and applying advanced analytics concepts, including SEM/PPC analysis, the power of segmentation, and conversion-rate best practices. Learn to leverage quick-start solutions for all types of sites, such as small business websites, blogs, and digital storefronts.</p> <h2>3. Tribes</h2> <p>In a perfect world, any entrepreneur would want their customers to be as fanatical as Apple's, Disney's, or The Burger Shack's. Marketing expert Seth Godin shows you the key to using the Internet to create your own customer &quot;tribe&quot; in his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591842336/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1591842336&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6GTHPVAX5EFP3QG2">Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us</a>. From detailed best practices, you'll learn how to craft your own manifesto, make it easy for your members to connect to you and one another, and track your movement's progress.</p> <h2>4. Zero to One</h2> <p>You may have heard the name of Peter Thiel before. Whether it was as one of the co-founders of PayPal in 1998 or the first outside investor in Facebook (a 10.2% stake acquired in 2004 for $500,000), you know that Thiel means serious business. In his New York Times bestseller <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804139296/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0804139296&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SXVPOOHLWSSE5PB5">Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future</a>, Thiel outlines unique and practical insights about entrepreneurship, and discusses success in terms of human nature and culture. Along with actionable tips on business strategy, Thiel outlines the seven questions that &quot;every business must answer,&quot; which are key to fine-tuning your entrepreneurial vision.</p> <h2>5. The Art of the Start 2.0</h2> <p>While evangelism marketing is more common nowadays, it wasn't so ubiquitous back in the early 1980s. Many people believe former chief evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki, to be the father of the art &mdash; making customers believe so strongly in a particular product or service, that they freely try to convince others to buy and use it. Kawasaki is well-known for his down-to-earth and down-to-business writing style. In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591847842/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1591847842&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XUY5MIOFWZH2QXN6">The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything</a>, he provides a detailed marketing and PR blueprint for aspiring entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and not-for-profit leaders.</p> <h2>6. The 4-Hour Workweek</h2> <p>One of the main reasons that individuals venture into entrepreneurship is to achieve a better work-life balance. Tim Ferriss is one of the most vocal advocates of pursuing entrepreneurship to improve your lifestyle. In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307465357/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0307465357&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WWH3KS7BLKXNNBB6">The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich</a>, Ferriss teaches techniques for helping entrepreneurs and business owners to produce seemingly superhuman results in minimum time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people?ref=seealso">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World's Busiest People</a>)</p> <h2>7. Start Something That Matters</h2> <p>Besides a better work-life balance, many entrepreneurs start businesses in search of the ideal mix of profit and social good. Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of shoe company TOMS, Blake Mycoskie is the poster boy for a business model that helps people in need with every product purchased. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812981448/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0812981448&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5HZ2PCZONDPSBKFT">Start Something That Matters</a> tells the story of the steps Mycoskie took to set up his for-profit company to help children he met in a small village in Argentina, and how he inspires others to start something that positively impacts the world. In his book, he profiles other entrepreneurs doing good, including Lauren Bush (founder of FEED Projects), and Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry (co-founders of method).</p> <h2>8. Delivering Happiness</h2> <p>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446576220/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0446576220&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZPGEBDFFVIUEMYT5">Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose</a>, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com Inc, explains how his company went from scrappy shoe online retailer to major player in ecommerce, with over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year. Great customer service is key for the survival of any business, and Hsieh makes a strong case of how customer service should be the responsibility of the entire company, not just a department. Given that Zappos consistently ranks among the top companies to work for and was eventually acquired by Amazon in 2009 for a cool $1.2 billion, he is definitely on to something.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite books on entrepreneurship?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-books-for-entrepreneurs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs">The Top 7 Blogs for Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-more-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">8 More Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">The 8 Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship advice books inspiration self employed small businesses start ups Mon, 21 Dec 2015 14:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1623600 at http://www.wisebread.com The SEP-IRA Is How the Self-Employed Do Retirement Like a BOSS http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_holding_nest_egg_000020513200.jpg" alt="Learning how self-employed do retirement with SEP-IRA" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Self-employed? The odds are high that you aren't saving enough for your retirement years. A 2013 survey by TD Ameritrade found that nearly 70% of self-employed individuals weren't saving regularly for retirement &mdash; and 28% weren't saving anything at all. Those are alarming numbers. But they don't surprise ReKeithen Miller, certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta.</p> <p>&quot;You hear stories about employees with traditional full-time jobs struggling to save enough for retirement. And they have 401K plans already established for them. They just have to sign up,&quot; Miller says. &quot;Just imagine how difficult it can be for self-employed people to save enough.&quot;</p> <p>That's where a Simplified Employee Pension &mdash; better known as a SEP-IRA &mdash; can help. It's an excellent <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-without-a-401k">retirement savings option</a>&nbsp;for the self-employed.</p> <h2>The Basics of a SEP-IRA</h2> <p>A SEP-IRA works much like a traditional IRA. Self-employed individuals can deposit their savings into an account and then watch their earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis until withdrawal. This means that you if you deposit $10,000 of the money you earn as self-employed worker into your SEP-IRA, you won't have to pay taxes on this income until you withdraw it.</p> <p>Like a traditional IRA, you won't face any penalties for withdrawing money once you hit age 59&frac12;. If you withdraw sooner, though, not only will you have to pay taxes on your distribution, you will also have to pay an additional penalty tax of 10% on the money you withdraw.</p> <p>One important change from a traditional IRA, though, is the amount of money you can contribute. You can deposit 20% of your net business income for the year or a total amount of $53,000 &mdash; whichever is less &mdash; into a SEP-IRA for 2015. By contrast, you're only allowed to contribute a maximum of $5,500 &mdash; $6,500 if you are 50 or older &mdash; into a traditional IRA each year.</p> <h2>Creating the Retirement Savings Habit</h2> <p>So why do so few self-employed individuals save regularly for retirement? Miller says that self-employed workers are often under stress, worrying about irregular income streams and scraping together enough for estimated income-tax payments.</p> <p>This means that saving for retirement too often becomes less of a priority.</p> <p>&quot;When you are self-employed, you have a lot to think about,&quot; Miller says. &quot;You have to get your own health insurance. You have to set a marketing budget for your business. You might have to deal with employees. Saving for retirement is not one of the top things on the list, even though it should be.&quot;</p> <p>Others might worry that they don't have enough extra income to make a dent in their retirement-savings shortfall. But Miller says that this thinking is misguided.</p> <p>&quot;Something is better than nothing,&quot; Miller says. &quot;It's better to save what you can than to not save anything at all.&quot;</p> <p>Other self-employed individuals worry that starting a SEP-IRA will take time that they need to instead devote to running and growing their businesses. Again, though, this thinking is incorrect, Miller explained. &quot;Setting up a SEP-IRA is easy,&quot; he said. Individuals can quickly set up a SEP-IRA in minutes by calling their local bank or a national financial services company.</p> <p>And once individuals have a SEP-IRA up and running, they aren't required to make any specific amount of contributions each year. You can contribute $25,000 one year, no dollars the next, and $9,000 a third year. There is no required minimum contribution to a SEP-IRA.</p> <h2>Where to Sign Up</h2> <p>Now that you're interested in retirement investing via a SEP-IRA, you should know that there are several online services you can use to open an account. Many of these allow you to sign-up and make contributions online or by phone, simplifying the process. These services range from traditional brokers to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers">robo-advisers</a>, each with varying perks and fees, so pay attention to the details. Some sample services include:</p> <ul> <li>Automated investment service, <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1559546&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Betterment offers a SEP-IRA</a> with no transaction or trade fees. They also offer 4 months to 1 year free, depending on your deposit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.merrilledge.com/small-business/sep-ira">MerrillEdge </a>offers a SEP-IRA with no program or administrative fees. Trades may cost $6.95 per transaction, however.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Online broker giants <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-ira/small-business/sep-ira">Fidelity</a> and <a href="https://investor.vanguard.com/what-we-offer/small-business/sep?WT.srch=1">Vanguard</a> also offer SEP-IRAs with no set-up fees. These services do charge for trades, however.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A number of credit unions and banks also offer SEP-IRAs; check with your local provider for details and online account availability.</li> </ul> <p>The lesson here? It's time to start saving in a SEP-IRA today.</p> <p><em>Are you making contributions to a SEP-IRA?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-10-bogus-retirement-savings-excuses">Stop Making These 10 Bogus Retirement Savings Excuses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-starting-a-retirement-plan-in-your-30s">8 Steps to Starting a Retirement Plan in Your 30s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-boost-your-odds-of-retiring-early">5 Ways to Boost Your Odds of Retiring Early</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-retirement-when-you-re-ready-to-retire">How to Plan for Retirement When You’re Ready to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-accounts-and-money-to-spend">Retirement accounts and money to spend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Retirement 401k freelancers full-time jobs pension savings self-employment SEP-IRA Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:00:47 +0000 Dan Rafter 1580103 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000039306500.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to be a small business owner to make runs to the office supply store. Households and small businesses alike have needs for basic supplies, not to mention students doing their yearly back to school shopping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Back to School Shopping</a>)</p> <p>Although most credit cards that offer rewards on office supply purchases are business credit cards, there are opportunities for regular consumers to earn rewards on office supplies as well. Here is a brief roundup of the best credit cards which offer big rewards for office supply purchases.</p> <h2>Ink Plus Business Credit Card</h2> <p>For the new start-up or the established business, the Ink Plus&reg; Business credit card from Chase is an excellent choice for all your office supply purchases and other business needs. Earn five points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases at office supply stores, as well as on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Cardholders will also earn two points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent on gas and at hotels (when purchased directly), and 1 point on other purchases each year. Furthermore, new cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. This card has no foreign transaction fees, and features chip technology for more acceptance abroad. There is a $95 annual fee.</p> <h2>Ink Cash Business Credit Card</h2> <p>For no annual fee, the Ink Cash&reg; Business credit card provides many of the same benefits as the Chase Ink Plus, but it offers cash back instead of points. Cardholders receive 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on phone, Internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year. You also receive 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent per year in combined gasoline and restaurant purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. If you also buy office supplies at Amazon.com, you can use your points earned on the card to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon.com orders, including tax &amp; shipping. New cardholders can earn $200 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and begin redeeming for cash at just 2,000 points. Best of all, this card has no annual fee.</p> <h2>SimplyCash Business Card from American Express</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow" alt="SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express" title="SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express"><img border="0" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/162725/600477.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow">SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express</a> is a great option for US-based businesses. Earn 5% cash back at office supply stores and on cell phone services on the first $25,000 spent each year. Cardholders can also earn 3% cash back on travel expenses, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, gas, and restaurants. In addition, businesses can receive 3% cash back on US purchases of advertising in select media and shipping and 1% on all other purchases. With access to the American Express OPEN savings program, cardholders are eligible to get a 5% discount per eligible dollar spent on HP.com for laptops, desktops and more, up to $30,000 per calendar year, along with a 5% discount on shipping purchases through FedEx, up to $20,000 per year. For a limited time, you can earn a one-time $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your card within the first 6 months of card membership. (Your application must be received by April 27, 2016 to be eligible for this offer.) This card has no annual fee. Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Chase Freedom</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-a-more-rewarding-way-to-shop">Chase Freedom&reg;</a> is a consumer credit card which awards 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories which could include the office supply categories, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. However, you can also shop online through the Chase portal, Ultimate Rewards, and earn various amounts of cash back at numerous office supply and office furniture stores such as OfficeMax.com and Staples.com. Plus, earn a bonus of $150 after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months of account opening. This card has no annual fee.<a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3765832&amp;fot=1269&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><strong><br /> </strong></a></p> <h2>Upromise MasterCard</h2> <p>Not exclusively an office supply or business credit card, the Upromise MasterCard by Barclaycard provides rewards for a wide variety of purchases that can be redeemed for cash back, paying down student loans, or placed in a savings account for future college expenses. When you shop online, you can earn up to 10% cash back with Upromise retailers, which include a variety of office supply merchants such as OfficeDepot.com and Staples.com. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Target REDcard</h2> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=77&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1269" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://adn.impactradius.com/display-ad/2092-173676" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>Although not exclusively for office supplies, you may be hard pressed to find more affordable office supplies, furniture, and electronics than at Target stores. The <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=77&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1269" target="_blank">Target REDcard</a> awards an automatic 5% discount at checkout. Plus, when you order online, cardholders receive free shipping which can help cut expenses when ordering office supplies. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=77&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1269" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Target REDcard today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card</h2> <p>Amazon.com is considered one of the major retail outlets for purchasing a wide variety of products, online, including plenty of office supplies and equipment. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/theres-no-good-reason-not-to-get-the-amazoncom-rewards-visa-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card</a> awards 3% back for all purchases made at Amazon.com, plus 2% back for gas station, drugstore, and restaurant purchases, and 1% back for all other purchases. This card has no annual fee.</p> <h2>Lowe's Business Rewards Card</h2> <p>Although at first glance it would seem that the Lowe's card would be exclusively for home improvement, it actually provides a number of rewards and benefits for setting up a small business. The Lowe's Business Rewards Card by American Express awards three points for each dollar spent at restaurants, office supply stores, and monthly wireless telephone services. You also receive two points for each dollar spent at Lowe's stores, and one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases. Additionally, the Lowe's card provides a discount of 5% off single-receipt purchases made in Lowe's stores. This card has no annual fee.</p> <h2>The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=9&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow" alt="The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN" title="The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN"><img border="0" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/162212/599431.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=9&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow">Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</a> offers a host of benefits for the small business owner. Earn three points per dollar on one of the following categories for office purchases at your choosing: computer hardware, software, and cloud computing from select providers, shipping, gas, advertising in select media, or airfare. Receive two points per dollar on the remaining four categories and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders have access to ReceiptMatch, which is a feature that syncs with Quickbooks to help business owners manage card expenses through adding receipts, tags, and notes to transactions. Like the American Express SimplyCash, the American Express Business Gold Rewards cardholder has exclusive access to American Express OPEN, which provides 5% discounts or two additional points per dollar spent on select purchases, including computers, shipping, and more. This card has no foreign transaction fees, and a $175 annual fee that is waived in the first year. Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=45&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=9&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1269" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Airline Companion Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card">When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck">Store Credit Cards That Don&#039;t Suck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Entrepreneurship Organization Shopping best credit cards office supplies Fri, 18 Sep 2015 20:03:30 +0000 Christina Majaski 1545905 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/divorced_couple_000027585457.jpg" alt="Business owners trying to protect themselves through divorce" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting a divorce can be one of the most emotionally devastating times in your life. Combine this with running your own business and next thing you know, your life has become extremely stressful. I know, because I've been there.</p> <p>If you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-a-failed-marriage-lead-to-business-failure">going through the a divorce</a>, here are some important financial steps to take to protect yourself and your business.</p> <h2>1. Get Organized</h2> <p>The first step when dealing with a divorce as a business owner is to get organized and find a lawyer who can help you take the right steps.</p> <p>Gather all your financial documents, business and bank statements, agreements, and other information that pertains to your business and marriage. Any debts and assets you and the business owns will have to be calculated and divided up. Examine all the bank accounts and documents, as you don't want to be out of the loop in a situation like this.</p> <p>Depending on the state you live in, and whether or not you signed a prenup, you and your spouse could be forced to split the business profits &mdash; and everything else &mdash; 50/50. If you and your spouse work in the business together, the operating agreements should outline directions for each spouse to protect themselves during a divorce or other separation.</p> <h2>2. Fill In the Details</h2> <p>What assets or savings did you bring into the relationship? How much do you have personally invested into the business? What are the balances of your personal, joint, and business accounts, investments, credit cards, and loans?</p> <p>Work with your spouse (or a lawyer if you need help mediating) to fill in all these details. Put the information on paper, or in a spreadsheet, so you're both on the same page. Ask your accountant for all the financial reports, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets for the business, too. Everything needs to be accounted for.</p> <h2>3. Protect Yourself</h2> <p>The next step involves dividing up the assets and agreeing on whether to sell the business, dissolve it, or keep it up and running. If you jointly own a home, the mortgage will have to be refinanced into your or your spouse's name, unless you both agree to sell it.</p> <p>By the end of the divorce process you want all of your assets divided fairly. Leaving joint accounts after a divorce can lead to credit reporting inaccuracies and even fraud.</p> <p>Take steps to protect yourself and your business during this process by separating all joint accounts, assets, and debts. Until a property is sold or refinanced into your name, you're still liable for the entire mortgage or rental payment &mdash; whether or not your spouse helps split the bill.</p> <h2>4. Keep a Paper Trail</h2> <p>Any conversations you have with your spouse need to be in writing. Save all your emails, notes, and text messages. This is especially important when it comes to figuring out the important details of how you'll handle the business together.</p> <p>In the event that you and your ex can't discuss things in a calm fashion, you'll need written proof of what each other has agreed upon so you can move forward with the divorce. Keep a paper trail of all the bank accounts you've dissolved, assets you sell, debt settlements, loan refinances, and any other financial paperwork. You may need written proof of these transactions in the future.</p> <h2>5. Start Fresh</h2> <p>Continue protecting yourself as you move forward and rebuild your life. This means opening up new bank accounts in your name only, for both personal and business, and making a plan to get back on track.</p> <p>Check your credit report using a secure site like <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/">annualcreditreport.com</a>, to make sure everything is accurate. If you see any incorrect accounts, numbers, or names, reach out to the top three credit bureaus and get it corrected.</p> <p>When my divorce was finalized I was left with over $14,000 of consumer debt that we accumulated during our marriage. I had to find a new job and start making a plan to pay it down. Our credit was also conjoined since we had shared accounts, and these took some time to separate. It was rough to say the least.</p> <p>You don't have to lose your business just because you and your ex aren't on speaking terms. Work with a legal representative you trust and make sure everything's in writing.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gone through a divorce as a business owner? What was your experience?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-tips-to-good-business-management">Six Tips to Good Business Management</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Family business owners dividing assets divorce marriage pre-nup small business Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:02:44 +0000 Carrie Smith 1538268 at http://www.wisebread.com 10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000037497774.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart ways to get a small business loan" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is the lifeline of any small business.</p> <p>And using financing to maintain healthy cash flow can be essential for a sustainable operation. Still, when it comes to seeking financing, some business owners may not know where to begin. There are now more options than ever for the hopeful entrepreneur looking to get a bit of a boost to jump start a business. Here is a breakdown of some of the ways you can get financing for your business.</p> <h2>1. Business Loan</h2> <p>With over half of small businesses using them, <a href="https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2014_Finance_FAQ.pdf">traditional bank loans</a> are still the most popular source of financing among small businesses. However, not every organization is able to secure one. According to a nationwide review of 10,000 loan applicants across 700 different industries, 82% of loan applications from small businesses are <a href="https://www.ondeck.com/company/in-the-news/press-releases/ondeck-main-street-pulse-report/">turned down by a bank</a>.</p> <p>There are two basic steps to increase your chances of landing a business loan.</p> <p>First, you need to build and maintain a strong business credit score. Don't confuse your personal credit score with your business credit score. Two thirds of U.S. small business owners haven't <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323893504578559420352637566">checked their business credit report</a> within the past two years. Before you apply for a business loan, find out your current business credit score, update any missing or incorrect information, and take steps toward improving it.</p> <p>Second, you need to establish a solid business plan, which not only details how you plan to operate your business, but also provides projections of revenues and expenses for the next five years. The more that you can back up your claims and projections with factual information, the better your chance of landing a business loan.</p> <h2>2. SBA Loan Programs</h2> <p>The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers <a href="http://www.sba.gov/loanprograms">several loan programs</a> for very specific purposes.</p> <h3>General Small Business Loans: 7(a)</h3> <p>This is the SBA's most common loan program, which is available to most small businesses that operate for profit in the U.S. and aren't delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the federal government. You can find more details about <a href="https://www.sba.gov/content/7a-loan-program-eligibility">7(a) loan program eligibility</a> at the SBA website.</p> <h3>Microloan Programs</h3> <p>With an interest rate ranging between 8% and 13% and maximum repayment term of up to six years, the SBA Microloan program provides loans of up to $50,000 to help small businesses in securing working capital, purchasing inventory or supplies, acquiring furniture or fixtures, or investing in machinery or equipment. The <a href="https://www.sba.gov/content/microloan-program">average microloan</a> is about $13,000.</p> <h3>Real Estate and Equipment Loans: CDC/504</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/sba-loan-programs/real-estate-and-eq">CDC/504 loan</a> can be used for:</p> <ul> <li>purchasing land, including existing buildings;</li> <li>making substantial real estate improvements;</li> <li>renovating or modernizing facilities; and</li> <li>purchasing long-term machinery and equipment.</li> </ul> <h3>Disaster Loans</h3> <p>Most businesses whose real estate, property, machinery and equipment, inventory, or other business assets were destroyed in a declared disaster, may be eligible to a low-interest <a href="https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans">disaster loan</a>. The SBA monies can be used to replace or repair the destroyed business assets.</p> <h2>3. Asset-Backed Loan</h2> <p>Trying to hire extra help during a busy season or taking advantage of a great opportunity to bulk up inventory for cheap can put your small biz in a cash crunch. One way to secure that much-needed capital is to use your accounts receivable or assets as collateral for a loan.</p> <p>Before you run to the bank with a list of all your business assets, you should realize that lenders are only interested in specific high-quality assets:</p> <ul> <li>accounts receivable under 60 to 90 days, depending on lender;</li> <li>heavy equipment;</li> <li>qualifying vehicles (e.g. trucks); and</li> <li>business inventory.</li> </ul> <p>To hedge the loans that they issue, banks generally <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/52726">appraise eligible receivables</a> and finished inventory at 70% to 80% and 50%, respectively, of their market value. The reason is that if you were to default on your loan or miss several payments, then the bank would liquidate the assets as quick as possible at a lower price. If the sale doesn't cover your remaining loan balance, you're still liable for it.</p> <p>By keeping in mind the lower asset valuations, associated loan fees, and applicable rules, asset-backed lending can be a useful source of financing for small businesses. This is why asset-based credit line commitments at the end of 2014 were <a href="http://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/CFA/72a44465-ed9d-4059-8a2b-308d81a7fe37/UploadedImages/2014%20Annual%20Asset-Based%20Lending%20and%20Factoring%20Survey.pdf">nearly $216 billion</a>, a 6.8% increase over 2013.</p> <h2>4. Kabbage</h2> <p>One of the main challenges of getting a loan for your small business from traditional lenders is that they base the majority of their decisions on a credit score. Even though small biz owners may lack the business credit score traditional lenders are looking for, they can still demonstrate a healthy cashflow through business data from connected sites, such as a QuickBooks, Square, Amazon, PayPal, or Etsy accounts.</p> <p>Leveraging this second type of business data, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22986010&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Kabbage</a> helps small businesses get the funding they need to grow. Through a fully automated, online platform, owners of small businesses can link their latest business data, allowing Kabbage to review the overall health of their business &mdash; not just a credit score &mdash; to approve and provide loans between $2,000 and $100,000 in minutes.</p> <p>Kabbage loans aren&rsquo;t for everybody. These are very short term loans that are payable within six months, requiring payment of one sixth of the total loan plus a monthly fee per month. Fees range between 1% and 12% of your loan for the first two months and 1% for each of the remaining four months. However, you can pay back your loan early without penalty and lower your financing costs.</p> <h2>5. Lending Club</h2> <p>The underlying idea of peer to peer (P2P) lending is to circumvent traditional lenders, such as banks, by crowdfunding funds from a large group of individuals. When one small business owner receives a P2P loan, his peers fund small portions of that loan and receive principal plus interest when the borrower repays the loan. In simple words: a peer lends to another peer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club?ref=seealso">Prosper or Lending Club?</a>)</p> <p>Founded in 2007, <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959155&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Lending Club</a> has issued over $11.17 billion in P2P loans since 2007. In 2012, Lending Club issued a total of <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2014/201410/201410pap.pdf">1,386 small business loans</a> with an average loan amount of $16,268 and an average interest rate of 13.39%. Collateral is not needed for loans under 100k and no appraisals or business plans required. You must own at least 20% of the business and have fair credit. Their loans start at 5.9% fixed and you can choose from 1-5 year terms. There is a one-time origination fee that ranges from 0.99-5.99%.</p> <h2>6. Prosper</h2> <p>The pioneer of P2P lending in the U.S., <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Prosper</a> uses a credit score-based model for evaluating its P2P loans. more than 2.2 million members and over $4 billion in funded loans. Small business owners can apply for P2P loans between $2,000 and $35,000 and individual lenders invest as little as $25 in each loan listing they select. A small business loan through Prosper can have an APR ranging between 5.99% and 36.00%. Unlike Lending Club which prefers businesses to have been operating for at least two years with 75k in annual sales, Prosper encourages budding entrepreneurs to apply.</p> <h2>7. CircleBackLending</h2> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26228790&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">CircleBackLending</a> is also a P2P operator but uses institutional investors. Small business owners can borrow between $3,000 to $35,000 at CircleBackLending. Their unsecured loans are fixed-rate with interest rates starting at 5.96% for those with good credit.</p> <h2>8. PersonalLoans.com</h2> <p>Here you can find three types of personal loans: peer-to-peer loans, personal installment loans, and bank personal loans. However, due to applicable laws and regulations that vary by state, some of those loans may not available for you. Each type of loan at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26230639&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">PersonalLoans.com</a> has specific requirements. For example, the minimum requirements to qualify for a bank personal loan ranging from $1,000 to $35,000 are a credit score of 580, monthly income of $3,000, proof of employment or self-employment.</p> <h2>9. OneMain Financial</h2> <p>Depending on your state of residence, you can borrow between $300 and $15,000 through <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11042456-1411396647000?sid=davila-1539545" target="_top">OneMain Financial</a>. An important advantage of using this lender is that you can cancel your personal loan for any reason and return the money within 14 days without any early payment fees or other types of penalties.</p> <h2>10. Avant</h2> <p>Formerly known as Avant Credit, this issuer of personal loans can be an option for small business owners looking to start or build back up their credit history. While you don't need a FICO score to apply for a loan with <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26134024&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Avant</a>, all of your payments will be reported to the major credit bureaus, which helps to improve your credit score as long as you're making timely payments.</p> <h2>11. Small Business Credit Cards</h2> <p>By choosing the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal">right small business credit card</a>, you can avoid a cash crunch and meet your financing needs to secure future income. Choose the card that offers the best bonuses for your purchases as well as additional benefits like travel perks if you travel frequently.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050779&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express</a> offers 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services. The <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-spark-miles-for-business?ref=small-business-loan" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business</a> offers 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase. And with the <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050775&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</a>, you can choose one out of five categories to earn 3x points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card?ref=seealso">The Difference Between Business and Consumer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Responsible use of a small business credit card can also help you to separate your business and personal finances.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>No matter the source of your financing, you should only seek a loan if you're experiencing a cash flow gap. This means that you need the money to meet the operating expenses for a guaranteed source of revenue. For example, you need the capital to buy a piece of equipment for an order that is double your actual capacity, or to hire additional employees during the Christmas season rush.</p> <p>There are several financing options available, so don't jump at the first loan offer that you receive, and always shop around for better rates.</p> <p><em>What are other ways to get a loan for your small business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-for-a-home-purchase-in-2010">How to Prepare for a Home Purchase in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-credit-score-suffering-without-your-knowledge">Is your credit score suffering without your knowledge?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Credit Cards Entrepreneurship borrowing money credit score financing loans small business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:00:20 +0000 Damian Davila 1539545 at http://www.wisebread.com When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000022662360.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a business, it&rsquo;s worth considering a small business credit card. In some cases, the rewards and benefits mirror their consumer cards with little to no difference. In others though, the rewards offered by the small business card can be significant. And regardless of the rewards offered, small business cards can be used in other ways that will benefit you and your business. Here are five of the benefits that small business cards can offer over using a personal card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Enjoy Bonuses for Business Expenses</h2> <p>Just like the market for personal cards, there's a highly competitive market for small business credit cards. And one of the ways that banks compete for their business is by offering the most aggressive rewards for spending. With business cards, the rewards are more likely to be focused on common business expenses. In contrast, similar personal credit cards are more likely to offer bonuses for groceries and entertainment charges. Furthermore, the rewards earned from employee spending as authorized cardholders is retained by the primary account holder, increasing the opportunity for business owners to earn valuable points, miles, and cash back.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1249" rel="nofollow" alt="The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN" title="The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN"><img border="0" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/162212/599431.png" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1249" target="_blank">Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</a> offers as much as 3x Membership Rewards points for purchases in one of 5 categories (airfare, advertising, gas, shipping, or computer expenses), according to the cardholder's choice, and 2x on the 4 remaining categories. Also get 1x on other purchases. New cardholders can get 25,000 points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $175 after. Terms and limitations apply. <strong><a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1249" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply to the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.</a></strong></p> <h2>Separate Personal and Business Expenses</h2> <p>The primary benefit of a business credit card, and the reason they exist in the first place, is to separate personal and business expenses for the sake of record keeping and filing taxes. Can you use a personal credit card to do this? Yes, but the balance will appear on your personal credit report. In contrast, a business credit card's balance will not affect your credit score, unless you miss payments. As a primary account holder, you're still personally liable to pay back all charges on your business credit card.</p> <h2>Use Expanded Reporting Tools</h2> <p>Business users are likely to need additional information from their credit cards for accounting purposes, which is a feature provided by many small business credit cards. For example, the Spark line of business cards from Capital One features quarterly and year-end summaries that include custom, itemized reports of your spending. In addition, these cards offer downloadable purchase records compatible with common accounting tools such as Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. Furthermore, the Ink line of business cards from Chase offers the JOT mobile app that allows cardholders to save images of the receipts and tag them with customizable categories.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=31&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard"><img border="0" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/164410/604853.png" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=31&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles Select Business Card</a> earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on every purchase. Miles don't expire and there are no categories to limit rewards. Miles can easily be redeemed as statement credit for most travel purchases. New cardholders can receive a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months. There are also no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=31&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles Select for Business card.</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard"><img border="0" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/164409/604865.png" alt="" /></a>Capital One also offers the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Spark&reg; Cash for Business card</a> which offers 2% cash back on every purchase. Considering there are no limits to the amount you can earn and no categories that limit your rewards, this is a very high cash back percentage. No other credit card offers 2% cash back, except for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash card</a> from our partner Citi, which you don't get the second 1% until you've made a payment. Get a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 within the first 3 months. There are no foreign transaction fees and the $59 annual fee is waived for the first year. <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash for Business card.</strong></a></p> <h2>Have More Control Over Authorized Users</h2> <p>If you need to give employees a card to use, business credit cards can offer better management, reporting, and control over their spending abilities. You can set up alerts on purchases, adjust spending limits, and view usage among different employees. Some consumer cards offer additional cards for authorized users, but it has the same card number and does not distinguish purchases between cardholders.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1249" rel="nofollow" alt="SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express" title="SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express"><img border="0" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/162725/600477.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1249" rel="nofollow">SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express</a> offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and wireless telephone services, 3% cash back on a category of your choice from their list, and 1% cash back on other purchases. (The 5% and 3% apply to purchases up to $25,000 per year.) New cardholders can get $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months. (Your application must be received by April 27, 2016 to be eligible for this offer.) There is no annual fee. Terms and limitations apply. <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=13&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1249" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the SimplyCash&reg; Business Card from American Express.</strong></a></p> <h2>Earn Valuable Sign-Up Bonuses</h2> <p>One benefit that some credit card users find attractive is that they can earn increased rewards from sign the up bonuses offered by the business version of a card. When an exceptional offer comes around, it's often extended to both the business and personal versions of a credit card, allowing business owners multiple opportunities to earn this bonus. In fact, someone who owns multiple businesses may be able to apply for separate accounts for each one.</p> <p><a title="The Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN" alt="The Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1249" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/162523/600978.png" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1249" target="_blank">Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</a> offers 40,000 points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This premium card offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">complimentary airport lounge access</a> to over 700 airport lounges around the world. It also includes free internet access with Gogo inflight and Boingo hotspots. The annual fee of $450 seems high, but when you factor in the lounge access, $200 airline fee credit per year, $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck, 30% airline bonus when you use points to pay for a qualifying flight, and their exclusive Business Platinum Concierge ready to help you 24/7 with just about anything personal or professional, the value is more than enough to cover the fee. Terms and restrictions apply. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=64&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1249" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN.</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-ink-cash-business-credit-card-review">Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases">Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value">Which Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Has the Best Value?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Entrepreneurship american express best credit cards Capital One chase Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:00:13 +0000 Jason Steele 1501695 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_freelancer_000057859604.jpg" alt="Man learning life skills every freelancer needs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eight years ago, I decided to ditch my commute, mothball my business casual wardrobe, and fully commit to building a freelance writing and content management business. With nearly 12 years of professional experience behind me, I knew I could handle the business basics of a freelance life. From networking to invoicing, and from marketing to tech support, I realized everything would be up to me &mdash; and (frighteningly) only me.</p> <p>How right I was. As I enter my ninth gloriously commute-free year, I can affirm that success is built around the following eight life skills every freelancer needs.</p> <h2>1. Communication</h2> <p>As with any other job, good communication is the linchpin between success and failure in freelancing. Networking, pitching new business, working with different teams every day, and keeping clients up-to-date all require proactive and professional communication skills.</p> <h2>2. Time Management</h2> <p>For most freelancers, work comes in unpredictable spurts. Being able to go from zero to 60 in a day or two is just part of the game. And when multiple projects all have back-to-back deadlines, staying sane means learning the secret of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">effective time management</a>.</p> <h2>3. Negotiation</h2> <p>Freelancers must be able to establish fair work agreements and terms &mdash; terms that respect your skill and time and offer a competitive value to your clients. Getting the hang of it and negotiating with tact and confidence takes practice.</p> <h2>4. Organization</h2> <p>At this exact moment, I have four major new projects waiting in the wings &mdash; each with a different client. Keeping due dates, deliverables, meeting times, billing terms, and contact names straight takes masterful organization skills. If you don't have a Type A personality, do yourself a favor and explore some organization tools for businesses.</p> <h2>5. Scheduling</h2> <p>Many newbies eagerly accept every project that comes their way and never learn to gracefully push back on a deadline. But understanding how much work we can handle without sacrificing quality or breaking promises is critical to business success. When we get it wrong, first-time clients become one-time clients.</p> <h2>6. Self-Motivation</h2> <p>Since freelancers seldom have a boss looking over our shoulder, it's alarmingly easy for our workday to veer off track. A keen ability to self-motivate, stay focused, and not let short breaks turn into long distractions is essential for success.</p> <h2>7. Boundary Setting</h2> <p>For freelancers, there's no official beginning or end to the workday and not much separation between work, home, and social life. We have to defend our zen by setting clear boundaries. Successful freelancers know when to shut things off, walk away, and get back to the business of living.</p> <h2>8. Self-Awareness</h2> <p>As freelancers build a strong work history with a wide range of clients, one or two of those happy customers will inevitably extend a job offer. The security of traditional employment arrangements can be tempting; it takes profound self-awareness to know exactly what you want, guard your independence, and know when to say, &quot;Thank you, but no.&quot;</p> <p>Remember, freelancing is a science <em>and </em>an art. If you're just starting out, explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">what successful freelancers do</a> and develop your life skills as you develop your business.</p> <p><em>If you're a freelancer, what life skills have helped you the most? Which ones came naturally and which took conscious effort?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-think-twice-before-bidding-on-freelance-gigs">Why You Should Think Twice Before Bidding on Freelance Gigs (Book Giveaway)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Entrepreneurship freelance self-employment small businesses telecommute work from home Tue, 07 Jul 2015 09:00:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 1481900 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Inventor Turned a Spring Break Idea Into a Six-Figure Business http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inventor-turned-a-spring-break-idea-into-a-six-figure-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-inventor-turned-a-spring-break-idea-into-a-six-figure-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beach_party_000031976020.jpg" alt="Inventor turns spring break into six-figure business" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rob Ianelli reached down to crack open a beer with his shoe.</p> <p>It was 2006 and the 19-year-old American University student was on spring break in Mexico throwing back a few cold ones with his friends. He was wearing a trendy new line of beer bottle-opening sandals made by the surf brand Reef. In his eyes, the utility of a fashionable, wearable bottle opener was brilliant. A frat guy's dream. There was just one problem: Probably the most inconvenient place to house that beer opener, he surmised, was in the sole of his shoe. The floors of most frat houses aren't exactly clean.</p> <h2>Inspiration Strikes</h2> <p>These were the thoughts occupying Ianelli's mind when he walked into the next bar on the strip and whipped off his sunglasses. From his perch on the bar stool, he contemplated local Mexican beer to order while fingering the frame of his glasses. Then it hit him.</p> <p>&quot;I was just sitting there looking at my glasses and I thought, 'This is the real place for a bottle opener,'&quot; Ianelli said.</p> <p>He sketched it down on a napkin. A pair of shades with a bottle opener built into the earpiece. How had no one else thought of that?</p> <p>&quot;It was a joke to some extent,&quot; Ianelli said. &quot;Everyone dreams about inventing products. First thing I did after sketching it on a napkin was get a patent. I had no idea what I was doing. But two years later I had a prototype.&quot;</p> <p>If it sounds like it was easy, it wasn't. Ianelli had no experience in engineering and product development. (In college, he studied International Relations.) Not to mention the first prototype was a bust.</p> <p>&quot;They didn't fit,&quot; Ianelli explained. &quot;They also did not open bottles. They had a piece of metal on the end that looked like a claw, but it was functionless. It was pretty disheartening.&quot;</p> <h2>Try Pry Again</h2> <p>For awhile, Ianelli gave up. Then, about a year after the prototype dud incident, he got a second wind. Inspired to make a fresh start, he networked his way into a business deal with a more design-focused factory than the one he had previously worked with. It took a whole lot of trial and error, but eventually Ianelli succeeded in creating a prototype that fit his vision: Fashionable, functional eyewear to help students more easily achieve a most essential collegiate need &mdash; beer-drinking, of course.</p> <p>He launched the product under the name <a href="http://brewsees.com/">Brewsees</a> in 2011. And within two years, he had a six-figure business.</p> <p>&quot;I wanted the brand to be youthful,&quot; Ianelli said. &quot;The ultimate consumer is a 19-year-old frat guy. I look at it as a lifestyle brand, and we're only just beginning with our line of beer-opener sunglasses.&quot;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/BrewseesOwner.jpg" width="605" height="605" align="middle" alt="" /></p> <p>Ianelli, who is now 28, said he has sold more than 30,000 pairs of the eyewear he dreamt up nine years ago while <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">on spring break</a>. He said the company is currently experiencing month-over-month growth rate of 200%, in part thanks to a robust network of 108 Brewsees campus ambassadors at colleges across the nation.</p> <p>In addition to creating new styles of sunglasses, Ianelli said he dreams of branding out into apparel and partnering with a brewery to create a Brewsees brand of beer.</p> <h2>Staying Motivated Through Failure</h2> <p>His best advice for other inventors is as simple as this: Make sure you want it it badly enough, and if you do, stop at nothing until you find success.</p> <p>&quot;There's absolutely no chance that you're going to have an overnight success,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;So do you really care about what problem you're trying to fix? A lot of people are just trying to get rich, but the people who do the best and find the most success are the people who are so passionate about the problem they're solving that they're never going to give up until they they solve it.&quot;</p> <p>He said it's also important to realize that you can dream up the greatest invention in the world and it might still be a flop.</p> <p>&quot;Making a product is one thing, but building a business that can sell that product in a way that's profitable is another thing and that's what you need to be successful,&quot; he said. &quot;Kickstarter doesn't cut it.&quot;</p> <p>For Ianelli, the hardest part of the invention process was product development.</p> <p>&quot;It's not for everyone,&quot; he said. &quot;I'm good at it now, but I started out pretty much clueless. There's no college course or magic wand that's going to teach you what you need to know. But if you truly believe in your idea, you will figure it out.&quot;</p> <p><em>What product invention are you sitting on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inventor-turned-a-spring-break-idea-into-a-six-figure-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">6 Signs It&#039;s Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-with-friends">7 Ways to Make Money With Friends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-generate-passive-income">Great Ways to Generate Passive Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right">Freelancing: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing It Right</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Extra Income inventing Patents product design side businesses Fri, 22 May 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1432343 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs It's Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/female_student_working_000052734564.jpg" alt="Woman deciding to make her side gig her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You daydream about it: turning your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-prevent-side-gig-burnout">side gig</a> into your career. Quitting your day job and achieving your business goals on your own terms. But it can be hard to know when the right time to actually make the move is.</p> <p>If you're unsure what's holding you back, but suspect you may be ready, take a look at these six signs it's time to quit your day job.</p> <h2>1. Your Bills Can Be Covered on Side Business Income</h2> <p>Are things going pretty well right now? It's time to do the math. Add up all of your household's living costs. Now, add up your side business's month-by-month revenue over the past year. Can a decent percentage of basic expenses be covered by your side business?</p> <p>Making a big move based on this sign depends on a couple of factors such as how much your spouse or roommate contributes to the household, and whether or not those contributions can be counted on for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>For many people, the answer is a gradual transition. In my business, my partner/husband and I found an arrangement that let us spend 75% of our time on the company, and the rest of the time on freelance income to bridge the gap.</p> <h2>2. You're Leaving Money on the Table</h2> <p>Are more opportunities arising, ones you don't have the time to take? A small business can only flourish if it has enough time to grow the infrastructure and increase client communications and partnerships. If you can only spend nights and weekends on your side business, then you will hit a plateau that is very difficult to break through without hiring help.</p> <p>The best way to learn if you are leaving money on the table is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-write-a-business-plan">reviewing your business plan</a> and making a new <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/76418">year-to-year projection</a>.</p> <h2>3. Your Clients Want More</h2> <p>Surely you've had more ideas on how to upgrade your services. Do you see your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/market-segmentation-to-grow-customers-sales-and-profits">customer or client base growing</a> and becoming more reliable? This kind of stable growth begetting a stable fan base is a good sign that your regular clients are ready to be upsold on more services. If you are B2B, don't let them grow antsy to leave for a bigger company. If you are a consumer-facing business, don't let your customers grow bored with your product offerings. Start with your most loyal customers to show them that your business is growing with their needs and that you value your relationship.</p> <p>In my business, we grew so quickly in the past year that our customers were not able to keep up with our newest releases. So we started a new subscription program for our most rabid fans that allowed them to get everything we make for a monthly fee. When you start with your most loyal, you can work out the kinks of the new program with minimal pain and customer service issues before rolling it out to the public. We wouldn't have been able to plan, set-up, execute, and maintain this new service if one of us hadn't gone full time.</p> <h2>4. You Find Yourself Becoming an Expert</h2> <p>Are friends, family, and peers increasingly asking you for advice or resources on your industry? If so, the outside perception of your company must be good enough for you to be considered a thought leader on the topic.</p> <p>A great way to give back as an entrepreneur is to share your expertise. It's also a great way to grow your business indirectly by inserting yourself in the major ongoing conversations within your industry. Look up <a href="http://www.allconferences.com/">industry conferences to attend</a>, and you could create a Slideshare about what you've learned. When you have become a full-time entrepreneur, others will take you even more seriously. If you were already planning the full-time transition, this sign might be the morale boost you needed.</p> <h2>5. You Need More Time at Home</h2> <p>Is your household changing? Maybe you are planning to have children in the next two years. Maybe your spouse is earning enough money to cover the basic expenses so you can take more time on your business. Staying at home provides you the flexibility to grow both your business and your family on your own schedule.</p> <p>Do it smart: Using your monthly expense calculator and business projections, start mapping out a plan that allows you transition to a home office. Calculate the costs of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/setting-up-a-home-office-on-the-cheap">making a functional home office</a>: desks, computers, office and creative supplies, and storage solutions. You might have to incorporate freelance income in your revenue mix alongside the other services your business provides.</p> <h2>6. You're This Close to Hiring Employees</h2> <p>Are you looking for help to improve workflow? It will be hard to manage employees from a desk at another company. It's time to look at the numbers and see how much more revenue you could earn with an employee's help, versus quitting your day job and doing most operations yourself for a while.</p> <p>People-specific skillsets you don't possess (i.e. coding, graphic design, etc.) might be hires you can't avoid. But what if you just have too much basic upkeep to do? What I have learned is that repetitive, tedious, and time-consuming tasks are great to outsource to a freelance employee for an affordable rate. Core work like business development and creative should be left to you until you go full-time, so you can properly manage your employees and give them the one-on-one time they need to grow within your company.</p> <p>Make sure you have what you need to <a href="http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2013/10/top-7-tips-for-hiring-managing-your-1st-employee.html">hire your first employee</a>, and learn about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-take-the-pulse-of-your-employees">managing staff</a>.</p> <p><em>How's your side gig doing? Ready to make the leap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right">Freelancing: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing It Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Extra Income business self employment side jobs work Tue, 19 May 2015 17:00:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1416883 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Woman_working_000045281724.jpg" alt="Woman answering financial questions before going freelance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to quit your day job to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">full-time freelancer</a> can be the most exciting transition in your career. You gain control over your own schedule, and have the freedom to choose the type of projects you work on.</p> <p>But with this excitement comes a lot of financial questions and planning. In order to make the leap from your day job as smooth as possible, here are five questions to ask &mdash; and answer! &mdash; before becoming a full-time freelancer.</p> <h2>1. How Much Should You Save?</h2> <p>If you have no other sources of income to pay the bills after you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">quit your job</a>, how long would your savings last? Do you feel comfortable giving yourself three months to get your new freelancing career off the ground? Or is six months a more reasonable timeline? Obviously the more money you save up, the less risky your leap into freelancing will be.</p> <p>There are additional factors that need to be accounted for too, like whether or not you're the breadwinner for your family. It's likely you'll have to pay for your own health insurance, taxes, and fund your own retirement account. All of these things need to be calculated before you can accurately estimate how much money you should save.</p> <p>Most experts suggest that you keep at least three to six months' worth of expenses in a separate savings account to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">cover any emergencies</a> or losses of income (some even suggest as much as twelve months' worth). As a freelancer you might as well double this amount to account for the added risk of being self-employed.</p> <h2>2. What's Your Bare Minimum Budget?</h2> <p>What's the bare minimum amount of money you need to make in order to pay your bills each month? Make sure you add in all of your household bills (utilities, insurance, groceries,) as well as the cost of doing business as a freelancer.</p> <p>When I was in the process of quitting my day job, I calculated my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-items-you-may-be-forgetting">bare minimum budget</a> to be $3,000 a month. This meant that I needed at least $18,000 saved up ($<em>3,000 a month X six month savings cushion = $18,000</em>) in order to cover my bare expenses for six months while I built my freelancing business.</p> <p>Calculate how much money you need to adequately pay your bills every month, then multiply this figure by six to eight months. This is the amount you'll need to save in a separate account to make the transition from a day job to freelancing a successful one.</p> <h2>3. Do You Have Passive Income Streams?</h2> <p>One other way to make this process much easier is creating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-freelance-gigs-anyone-can-do-to-make-extra-money">multiple streams of income</a>. Aside from your core freelance duties, do you have other options for creating passive income? What other assets can you leverage to bring in more money each month?</p> <p>Maybe you can branch out and offer business consulting, or create an online course that teaches a specific skill based on your background and experience. Do you have investments that earn small dividends or interest?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-a-side-hustle-can-further-your-career">Every little bit of income</a> can help you save up money faster, while easing the transition of quitting your job and steady paycheck.</p> <h2>4. Are You Willing to Do What it Takes?</h2> <p>How much time do you have available to dedicate to finding work? Are you prepared to spend nights and weekends building your business? In the beginning, clients won't come to you, so you'll have to actively seek them out and build a solid network from scratch.</p> <p>How much time you spend in the beginning will determine how quickly you're able to replace your day job's income. There will likely be a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days, but in the end you have to determine if the reward is worth all the effort.</p> <p>Freedom is never free, and this includes financial freedom. You have to figure out if the cost is worth it.</p> <h2>5. Do You Have a Financial Backup Plan?</h2> <p>What happens if Plan A doesn't work out? Do you have a Plan B in place? In the event that you blow through all of your savings, and are still not where you can fully pay your monthly expenses, how are you going to cope?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-money-for-a-week-here-s-what-to-do">Create a backup plan</a> of action for this specific event. List out the possible solutions and scenarios for how you and your family will deal with this. Are you going to find another full-time job? Will you be able to move back in with your parents?</p> <p>This is another reason that having a large chunk of money stashed away in savings can really help you during the process of quitting your job to freelance full time. Calculate at least six months' worth of your minimum budget expenses and then save money like crazy.</p> <p><em>Are you in the process of quitting your job? How are you preparing yourself financially?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">6 Signs It&#039;s Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">6 Sneaky Ways You Cheat on Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship emergency funds freelance income self employment Mon, 18 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Carrie Smith 1424770 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_at_work_000033231524.jpg" alt="Woman funding her own business venture without touching savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot of new small business owners often dip into their retirement accounts or life savings to fund their new venture. But cashing out a retirement account, especially a taxable one like a 401(k), can sabotage the success of your business.</p> <h2>Avoid Using Savings to Fund a Business</h2> <p>For starters, you forfeit any future savings on money you've already set aside for use during your retirement years. What will you do later in life? You may not physically be able to work during your retirement years, so don't depend on the fact that you can simply continue working at a job to produce an income.</p> <p>Another reason to avoid taking out your life savings to fund a business is because it will likely come with high taxes and penalty charges. If you withdraw money from a 401(k), or traditional IRA, you'll have to pay <a href="http://gogirlfinance.com/career/entrepreneur/so-you-want-to-be-an-entrepreneur-why-you-shouldnt-cash-in-your-401k/">upwards of 40% in taxes</a> and early withdrawal penalty fees. That's not a smart way to start out a new business.</p> <p>Finally, you'll be losing out on extra tax benefits, like credits and deductions, that can be added to your tax return each year. You would also be missing out on any contributions from your employer if they offer to match your funds.</p> <p>For all of these reasons, you should avoid touching your savings and retirement accounts as much as possible. Here are three smarter ways for funding a new business venture without using savings.</p> <h3>1. Bootstrap Your Idea</h3> <p>The grassroots style of marketing and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-money-boosts-that-grow-your-savings">funding a new business venture</a> is a popular method that's been around for a long time. Basically, you use the connections and community you've already built as a way to help spread your idea or mission.</p> <p>The marketing is all done via word-of-mouth and you reach out to people individually to explain what you and your business do. The idea grows slowly and any money that it brings in is reinvested into the business. This will build a solid foundation while allowing you to keep more of your money in savings.</p> <h3>2. Consider Crowdfunding</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-raise-money-on-crowdfunding-sites">Crowdfunding sites</a>, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, are becoming more and more popular because it leverages a huge audience of people and gives them the opportunity to invest in your business idea. Most small businesses don't succeed because they don't have the capital they need, but instead of pulling the funds out of savings, you can use crowdfunding to turn your business dream into a reality.</p> <p>Whether it's a interchangeable watch, a productivity planner, or an alarm clock that monitors your sleep, these sites have built a platform that allows you to share and fund your unique idea. And the best part is that you'll already have hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of raving fans and customers who are ready to buy and spread the word.</p> <h3>3. Enter a Contest</h3> <p>Another route you can take to infuse your new business venture with cash is by entering a small business contest. For example, Chase gives away $2 million annually ($100k each to 20 small businesses) through its <a href="https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/">Mission Mainstreet grants</a> program.&nbsp;</p> <p>MIT offers a 100K Entrepreneurship Competition where small business owners can pitch their ideas and have the chance to win much-needed funds to get started. Once your business idea is vetted and you create a business plan, you could win up to $100,000 to go towards your venture.</p> <p>Amazon similarly offers startups the <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/start-ups/">chance to find funding</a>, grow at a smart rate, and find resources for marketing, all for free. They've helped sites like Pinterest, Etsy, and Airbnb get their starts. So if you have a software-based business, or one that sells physical products, they can help connect you to the resources you need, for free.</p> <p><em>Are you thinking of starting a business? What are some other ways to fund it without using savings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-pitfalls-and-how-to-avoid-them-part-two">6 Small Business Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them: PART TWO</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss">The SEP-IRA Is How the Self-Employed Do Retirement Like a BOSS</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-boost-your-odds-of-retiring-early">5 Ways to Boost Your Odds of Retiring Early</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship crowdfunding funding new business savings small business Thu, 07 May 2015 16:28:22 +0000 Carrie Smith 1410182 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Woman_organized_ideas_000038689064.jpg" alt="Woman figuring out how to fund her business without borrowing money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Becoming a small business owner or freelancer is a great way to regain control of your schedule while having limitless potential for income and locational flexibility. The only problem is that starting a new business venture usually comes with a big price tag.</p> <p>It may be difficult to fund a new business without using loans or credit cards, but it's not impossible. Here are some tried-and-true ways to avoid taking on debt when becoming your own boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business?ref=seealso">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a>)</p> <h2>Bootstrap Your Business</h2> <p>Bootstrapping is essentially the DIY version for business owners. It's the process of streamlining your expenses while spending as little as possible in order to grow your business in the long term. It's not just about being cheap, but more importantly about spending money on the right areas of business while being conscious of your bottom line.</p> <p>A few bootstrapping techniques include outsourcing small projects to contractors using paid gig sites, such as <a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&amp;aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a> or <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> versus hiring regular employees, or paying for a course to learn a bit of copywriting, versus hiring a professional copywriter.</p> <p>But don't stop there. Are there existing sources of funding you can use for your new venture? Can you use the cash value of your life insurance policy, sell a little-used second vehicle, or downsize your home? Bootstrapping takes many forms, and if you're serious about avoiding debt, you should also be serious about locating funding.</p> <h2>Seek Out an Investor</h2> <p>This is not a new idea by any means, but it's one that should nonetheless be considered. If you need capital for inventory or equipment, seek out an investor who believes in your idea and is willing to become part owner. This will give you the added cash flow your business needs without going to the bank.</p> <p>You can choose to be as informal as you want, by asking friends and family to invest in your idea, or be more formal by seeking out someone like an angel investor, either through local professional networks, or on websites such as <a href="https://gust.com/">Gust</a>.</p> <p>You have to be willing to take on a partner of course, but working with someone who has deeper pockets than you do could be a real advantage.</p> <h2>Leverage a Day Job</h2> <p>Consider leveraging your current day job while starting your business on the side as a means of generating revenue for your new venture. This is a very smart way to vet out your idea before having the added pressure of making it produce revenue to support itself. Many entrepreneurs choose this route before starting an online business, and essentially use their day job to fund their dream job.</p> <p>This method may take a bit longer to build up, and you'll have to juggle multiple priorities at the same time, but you will be the sole owner of your business and able to build a solid foundation from the beginning.</p> <h2>Try Crowdfunding</h2> <p>If your business venture is an idea for something that people will buy, such as a physical product or a smartphone app, consider crowdfunding as a way to infuse your new idea with the cash it needs to get off the ground. Sites like <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/">Kickstarter</a> and <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/">IndieGoGo</a> are perfect platforms for bringing your new idea to the masses.</p> <p>There have been quite a few ideas brought into the market this way, including everything from video games to watches and beer, that have grossed more than $1 million dollars from crowdfunded pledges.</p> <p>Give your new business the fighting chance it deserves by avoiding taking on debt in the beginning stages. You will learn to streamline your work process and focus on the true priorities while the business grows. Then you can later expand and build upon the foundation you've created.</p> <p><em>Have you launched a business or side business? How'd you pay for it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs">The Top 7 Blogs for Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-books-for-entrepreneurs">The 8 Best Books for Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship freelance funding investors self employment small businesses Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:00:28 +0000 Carrie Smith 1400876 at http://www.wisebread.com Self-Employed? Here's How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cartoon_apartment_000044030686.jpg" alt="Self-employed couple trying to rent an appartment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While there are great benefits to being self-employed, like setting your own hours and working on projects you really enjoy, there are a few downsides to not getting a regular paycheck. Aside from the inconsistent income, you also have the added hurdle of <em>proving </em>your income when you want to move to a new apartment. This is something my husband and I are dealing with, because we both work from home.</p> <p>The standard apartment application includes providing proof of current employment and copies of your latest paycheck stubs. So how do you get approved for a new apartment when you don't have either of those things?</p> <p>Here are a few things to do if you're self-employed and moving to a new place.</p> <h2>1. Seek Out Independent Landlords</h2> <p>Any landlord wants the best tenants to ensure the rent gets paid on time. But larger property management companies often have stricter policies and guidelines for renting to self-employed individuals, so it may be best to avoid the big complexes.</p> <p>Opt for smaller, individually-owned duplexes or triplexes, where you can connect to an independent landlord. Their rules may be a bit more flexible, and allow you to apply for an apartment without a traditional paycheck. It's also a good idea to ask local contacts, friends, or family members if they know of any landlords who are open to self-employed individuals.</p> <p>We have an appointment with a landlord who was introduced by one of our family members, and on top of being lenient with self-employed income, we may also get a discount on our rent because of our connections.</p> <h2>2. Enlist a Real Estate Agent to Help</h2> <p>Of course, a real estate agent can help you <em>buy</em> a new home, but they also come in extremely handy when you're looking to rent an apartment &mdash; particularly in a new city. It's a real estate agent's job to know the local laws, as well as contacts for landlords who accept self-employed applications.</p> <p>They will be able to most effectively help if you share <em>all </em>the information about your work and lifestyle situation. I have a freelancer friend who had a difficult time finding roommates because they didn't want someone working from home all the time. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's because many people view at-home freelancers as lazy or messy.</p> <p>In any case, be up-front with your needs and explain how you work during the day. This will also help you be the most productive if you need a place that's quiet and free of outside distractions.</p> <h2>3. Keep Your Financial Records Organized</h2> <p>There are several things you will likely have to hand over to your landlord or apartment management company during the application process. So it's important that your financial records are accurate and organized.</p> <p>Since you don't have the advantage of simply printing off copies of your latest paycheck stubs or W-2s, you'll most likely need:</p> <ul> <li>Six month's worth of bank statements</li> <li>Three year's worth of tax returns</li> <li>Copies of long-term client contracts or big projects that prove consistent income</li> <li>A healthy savings account that covers at least three month's worth of rent</li> <li>References in writing from previous landlords</li> </ul> <p>If you don't have a lot of extra debt, this will help your case as you become much less of a risk to the landlord. Obviously a few other things that will help are to dress appropriately when meeting the landlord, and sharing any other advantages you bring as a tenant (in my case it's the fact that we don't have kids or pets). Sell them on how great a tenant you are and make them feel good about having you in their apartment.</p> <p>Finding a new apartment is a bit more difficult when you're self-employed, and you'll likely have to save up a bit more money to prove you're financially responsible. However, by using these tips you can find a new place that works for both you and your landlord. Happy apartment hunting!</p> <p><em>What steps have you taken to find a new apartment while self-employed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Real Estate and Housing freelance landlords moving renting self employment Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:00:06 +0000 Carrie Smith 1392099 at http://www.wisebread.com