small business http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7660/all en-US How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/waitress_holding_an_open_sign_at_a_restaurant.jpg" alt="Waitress holding an open sign at a restaurant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The conventional wisdom is that to &quot;scale&quot; a business, you have to do it the traditional way &mdash; by hiring employees. Otherwise, the thinking goes, you'll be limited to whatever revenue you can generate personally.</p> <p>That presents a conundrum. What if you really don't want to hire employees because you're not the managerial type &mdash; or can't pull it off financially? Creating jobs does a lot of good for society, but it is a big responsibility. For very small businesses that have uneven cash flow, it can be unmanageable. You can't just opt out of cutting paychecks one month if a big client pays you late. Employees depend on getting paid on time.</p> <p>Fortunately, there's another option. In the digital age, it's increasingly possible to grow revenue in a one-person business or partnership without hiring traditional W-2 employees. In researching my upcoming book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2i09ttX" target="_blank">The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business</a>, I came across many people who were approaching or breaking $1 million in revenue without adding employees. They are among the 35,584 owners of &quot;nonemployer&quot; businesses that the U.S. Census Bureau found were hitting or breaking $1 million in revenue in 2014. (Nonemployer businesses are those staffed only by the owners.)</p> <p>So what are they doing? It runs the gamut. Entrepreneurs are breaking $1 million while running internet retail sites, professional services firms, real estate investment firms, healthy cooking online courses, and many other businesses. It's not necessarily the type of businesses they run, but the way they run them that has enabled them to scale. Here are three growth strategies they are using that anyone in a one-person business can start using today to greatly increase revenue.</p> <h2>Outsource</h2> <p>In many small businesses, your time is your currency. If you waste it on nonproductive activities that don't add to the bottom line, you'll never maximize your revenue. The conventional wisdom is you need to hire staff so you can offload tasks that can be delegated, but many of the million-dollar entrepreneurs I interviewed used another approach. They outsourced whatever they could to make their business more efficient.</p> <p>One example was Camille and Ben Arneberg. They started Willow &amp; Everett, a store with its own website and a presence on Amazon, in 2015. Neither was a retail veteran. Camille had worked in the corporate sustainability field, while Ben had been in the military. But they loved home entertaining and had a knack for selecting products other people like, such as decorative tea kettles.</p> <p>The couple started small, investing $5,000 in inventory, and reinvested in new products as they went along. By April 2016, they had grown the business to $1 million in revenue, one year and four days after their launch.</p> <p>One secret to their rapid growth was hiring the right kind of service to help them. After trying to pack a bunch of early orders themselves and finding their home buried in boxes of mugs, they switched to using a fulfillment service offered by Amazon. Although there is a small cost for this, the service handles tasks like labeling and fulfillment, freeing the Arnebergs to focus on growing their business.</p> <h2>Contract it out</h2> <p>One of the myths about running a one-person business is that it's an isolated affair. In reality, many smart <em>solopreneurs </em>rely on a team of trusted contractors to expand their capabilities. One entrepreneur I interviewed, Dan Mezheritsky, founder and president of Fitness on the Go in Vancouver, follows this model. As a former junior national champion decathlete in Canada, Mezheritsky founded his one-person, in-home personal training franchise in 2005 and grew his own annual revenue to $1.5 million in 2016. He did it by building a network of 180 personal trainers, who are all contractors.</p> <p>Mezheritsky got burned out on the idea of bringing on traditional employees after finding out that many of his original hires were not motivated to help him grow the business. Because they were paid on salary, they didn't share in the financial gains the business made in a tangible way. When he switched to hiring them as contractors, that changed. Now that they had their own businesses, they saw a direct financial benefit if he brought on new customers &mdash; whom they would get to serve.</p> <p>Mezheritsky provides help to the trainers that makes it more advantageous for them to work for him than on their own entirely. He licenses the right to use the company's brand name to the trainers and provides support with business management, leads, continuing education and other areas of the business for $400 a month. The company sets prices for the training sessions and the trainers keep about 91 percent. &quot;It was a no brainer for the trainers, when they took a look at what they were receiving,&quot; Mezheritsky told me. &quot;It was simpler than trying to do everything on their own.&quot;</p> <h2>Automate</h2> <p>Like many of the million-dollar entrepreneurs I interviewed, Mezheritsky is passionate about finding ways to automate repetitive tasks in his business. For instance, he hired a pro to help him build customized software that handles billing for all of his trainers, acts as a customer relationship management platform, handles his client rewards program, and more.</p> <p>But you don't have to build your own software in most one-person businesses. For instance, you can save several hours a week on scheduling tasks by using inexpensive tools like ScheduleOnce or Calendly &mdash; scheduling programs that let you send business contacts a link to your public calendar so they can book a time to meet with you without emailing back and forth.</p> <p>My new favorite app is Everlance, which tracks your mileage automatically from a smartphone. That way, you don't have to keep a written journal in your car.</p> <p>Incorporate a couple of other time savers like that and you can easily free up a day every week to recharge and figure out new ways to grow your business &mdash; while enjoying the pleasures of running an ultra-lean operation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">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/how-to-hire-your-first-employee">How to Hire Your First Employee</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/16-ways-to-get-money-for-your-business">16 Ways To Get Money For 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/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</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/going-freelance-the-top-10-tips">Going Freelance: The Top 10 Tips</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-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Entrepreneurship business owner employees entrepreneur hiring process hiring staff human resources small business Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 2035053 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Hire Your First Employee http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-hire-your-first-employee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tell_me_more_about_yourself.jpg" alt="Tell me more about yourself" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring your first employee is exciting! And also pretty intimidating. You don't need a complicated system in place to make your first hire, but you <em>do</em> need to take a few essential steps along the way. Here are some ways to simplify the process of hiring your first employee.</p> <h2>Decide what your employee will do</h2> <p>First things first: You know you're busy and you have more on your plate than you can accomplish alone. However, do you know exactly what your employee will take off your hands? Before you write an ad or think about a salary, make a list of the tasks and responsibilities you'd like to hand off to an employee. This list will help you hire the right person, and will also help you know exactly how to get them to full productivity quickly.</p> <h2>Write that employee handbook</h2> <p>Writing an employee handbook sounds like an overly complicated, formal process. It doesn't have to be! An employee handbook can be direct, casual, whimsical, full of pictures, and even interactive. It can also be a simple document of a few pages that covers the important values and rules you need to have in place for all employees, present and future. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a thorough guide to <a href="https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/hire-retain-employees/employee-handbooks" target="_blank">writing a handbook</a>, or you can find free templates online.</p> <h2>Set up a payroll service</h2> <p>In hiring an employee, what's most important to you is getting work done. What's most important to your first employee is getting a paycheck. Take some friendly advice: Hire a payroll service to handle the paycheck part of the equation. You will save yourself countless dollars in time and headaches. A good payroll service will provide necessary tax withholdings according to federal and state rules, keep accurate documentation, allow customizable withholdings to be set as needed, and ensure that your employee gets paid on time. All you have to do is go through the initial setup process and put a salary in place.</p> <p>And for the record: It's a really, really good idea to pay yourself through a payroll service, too. Missing tax documentation will always come back to haunt you.</p> <h2>Advertise for a great employee</h2> <p>Now you're ready to start seeking your first employee. Start by writing a great job listing ad. How, you ask? The keys to a great employment ad are specificity and authenticity.</p> <p>Specificity means that you'll list the exact tasks and responsibilities that your employee will take on. Don't use a vague term like &quot;Office Manager&quot; or &quot;Production Assistant&quot; without stating exactly what that means in your business. By making your ad specific, you will automatically filter out the applicants who aren't qualified or interested in completing the work you actually need done.</p> <p>Authenticity means that your employment ad should be like you, and like your business. If you're a casual, mom-and-pop kind of place, don't write an ad with formal language and overblown requirements for employment. Use first-person language, for example: &quot;We're looking for someone to work at the front counter.&quot;</p> <p>On the other hand, if your business is a more formal establishment with a dress code and high-end clientele, reflect that accurately in your advertisement. Use a more formal tone: &quot;Bobkin, Bobkin, and Butters, LLP, seek a qualified office assistant.&quot; The language and tone you use in your initial ad help you attract the type of applicant that will fit well and work well in your business.</p> <h2>Provide initial training</h2> <p>While you're waiting for the pre-filtered applications to roll in, thanks to your stellar employment ad, get your training materials in place. Do this by going back to that list of tasks and responsibilities that you want your first employee to handle. For each major task, write down the step-by-step process to complete it, well, completely. For each responsibility, list the tasks to be completed and, as appropriate, the timelines, resources, contacts, and other pertinent information.</p> <p>When you make that first hire, you'll have the information to start their training. As a general rule, it's a good idea to do two things: First, provide a copy of the complete training material to your employee, so they can go over it and get a big picture of the role they're taking. Second, prioritize the tasks and responsibilities and work with your new employee on each one in order of importance.</p> <h2>Set up a system for performance reviews</h2> <p>Ah, the dreaded performance review! Employees don't tend to love them, and frankly, neither do employers. However, when done well and frequently, reviews can create a working relationship that's much more beneficial for everyone involved.</p> <p>Start by letting your employee know that you will provide weekly feedback in their first month, or quarter. This is important as new employees often have no way to gauge if they're doing the job right and meeting your standards, or not. Not knowing leads to anxiety and tension, which leads to more mistakes, and can create an ugly cycle of stress and mess-ups. Provide clear, regular, weekly (at a minimum) feedback for your new employee for at least their first month.</p> <p>Thereafter, feedback sessions on a quarterly, monthly, or even a continued weekly basis are the most effective. Annual reviews are too few and far-between to be effective; they have the fun effect of making employees feel blindsided and betrayed. Don't do that! Instead, provide ongoing, informal feedback to your employee, either in face-to-face meetings or via phone, email, or messaging.</p> <p>You can provide feedback on a scheduled basis (weekly or monthly, for example) or after the completion of a task or project. In both cases, shorter, more frequent meetings tend to be more helpful. For best results, focus less on &quot;what you did wrong&quot; criticism and more on &quot;specific steps to improve&quot; instruction.</p> <p>A last note: It's a great idea to get feedback from your employee, as well as giving feedback to your employee. It's your first hire, but it probably won't be your last. Ask your new employee how you can make the process easier and be a better boss; you'll be even better prepared when it's time for your second hire.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-hire-your-first-employee&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Hire%2520Your%2520First%2520Employee.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Hire%20Your%20First%20Employee"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Hire%20Your%20First%20Employee.jpg" alt="How to Hire Your First Employee" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee">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/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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">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/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</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/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</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/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business owner employees employment first hire hiring interviews reviews small business training Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Annie Mueller 1990725 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-629254116.jpg" alt="check out these business your kid can start" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Somewhere between childhood and teendom, many kids have an epiphany. I remember having it myself. They realize that money gets you things &mdash; movie tickets, clothes, and ice cream cones. And you don't have to just ask your parents for money. You can get out there and <em>make</em> it.</p> <p>For my 12-year-old, the epiphany has been very specific. If she had a few hundred dollars, she could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-score-hamilton-tickets?ref=internal" target="_blank">get tickets to Hamilton</a>. Lately, every conversation is peppered with information on how her current entrepreneurial efforts are going, and ideas for new businesses. She's a <em>tweentrepreneur</em>, basically.</p> <p>Tweens are in a sweet spot for running their own businesses, because unlike little kids, they may have developed near-adult competencies in certain areas &mdash; like growing a strong social media presence &mdash; but unlike older teens and adults, they probably have a lot of free time on their hands. With all these ideas, it's important to use common caution: Don't let tweens go to strangers' homes unaccompanied, or distribute their personal phone numbers, addresses, or email.</p> <p>Here are some ideas that she (and I) have thought of.</p> <h2>1. Dog Walking</h2> <p>This is one of the first things my tween has ever gotten paid for. It's a good &quot;starter responsibility&quot; because the tween only has to be responsible for the dog for a short amount of time, and because there is a lot of latent demand out there from people who wish their dogs got more exercise but don't want to pay the $35 per walk that some professional dog walkers charge in my area.</p> <p>My tween got her first dog walking gig when I answered an ad on a local email group from someone looking for a few days of backup for her regular walker. She earned about $20 for an hour of her time two days in a row.</p> <p>Now that she has a reference, she plans to solicit more customers through the same list and through friends and family.</p> <h2>2. Petsitting</h2> <p>This can be combined with idea above for an overall pet care business. So far, my tween's petsitting jobs have been unsolicited &mdash; a neighbor asked her to come to her house to feed and play with their cats while the family was out of town. This is a step up in responsibility, because besides ensuring the animals' welfare, my tween has to be careful to lock the door behind her every time she visits. She has gone the extra mile by emailing photos and a report to the pet owner every time she visits their home. She gets paid $10 a visit.</p> <h2>3. Pet Cleanup</h2> <p>This could be added to a full-service pet care business. Lots of people hate scooping dog poop out of their backyards or cleaning the cat's litter box. Teach your tween precautions to avoid spreading bacteria.</p> <h2>4. Babysitting</h2> <p>The age when kids can start babysitting is not universally agreed upon, but my daughter's Girl Scout handbook suggested 12, and the <a href="http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/babysitting-child-care" target="_blank">Red Cross</a> offers a training course for her age, so I felt my mature seventh-grader was ready.</p> <p>Luckily, we have a neighbor who was looking for help with her twins, and was willing to train my daughter. My daughter spends much of her time in &quot;mother's helper&quot; mode, reading to one twin while the other gets a bath or vice versa, but she is working up to being alone with the kids for short periods of time. It's also lucky that I am able to be nearby, next door, as my daughter gets her babysitting legs under her.</p> <p>My tween earns $5 an hour for this job. There is a lot of demand in our neighborhood, since more teens are busy with after-school activities than in the past. She could easily build up a large clientele if she wanted to.</p> <p>Most kids get babysitting jobs through word of mouth, but if your child is 14 or older, you can help them set up a <a href="https://www.care.com/c/stories/2821/how-to-get-a-teen-babysitting-job/" target="_blank">parent-monitored account on Care.com</a>.</p> <h2>5. Making Something to Sell</h2> <p>So far, my kids have only sold handmade items for charity, but the results were eye-popping. A mom who knows how to make jewelry donated a load of earring hooks and baubles, and taught my daughter's Girl Scout troop to make earrings. During the holiday season, they set up a table downtown and sold dozens of pairs of earrings for $10 each, in just a few hours, netting hundreds of dollars for their cause.</p> <p>Kids can also sell their wares online with parental supervision. Another girl we know hand-sewed blankets and other items, and sold them on Etsy to raise money for charity. If they make a high quality product, they could even get it carried by a local store.</p> <p>More ideas for products that a tween can competently make at home: slime, soap (with supervision), greeting cards, crafty gifts, tie-dyed items, food products (in states that allow selling things made in home kitchens), bath products, personalized items, and knitted or crocheted items.</p> <h2>6. Mowing the Lawn</h2> <p>This has not been my kid's speed, but it's a time-honored tradition to hire a neighbor kid to mow your lawn, rake your leaves, or shovel your snow. If you can lend them your mower or shovel, it gives them a leg up. Weeding and watering are also tasks that are hard to mess up.</p> <h2>7. Running Errands</h2> <p>Nowadays, many of us are raising children in car-dominated suburbs or cities where we don't feel safe letting kids out of our sight. But if you're like me, lucky enough to live in a small city that is bikeable and walkable, but also has very low crime, your tween should be able to make a few bucks by picking things up at the grocery store for neighbors, returning library books, and the like.</p> <h2>8. Wrapping Gifts</h2> <p>My tween has been charging family members to wrap presents for the past couple of years, and she does a brisk trade. She saves money on materials by keeping fancy bows from gifts she receives. Next year, she plans to open her business to the public. In our town, a local bookstore allowed Girl Scouts to set up a wrapping table, just for tips, during the holiday season. Especially if her business aims to raise money for charity, local stores might allow this for your tween.</p> <h2>9. Performing at or Planning Kids' Birthday Parties</h2> <p>When I was a child, children's author Florence Parry Heide lived in my town. Through the grapevine, my mother heard that the author was looking for someone to dress up as a clown to entertain at her grandchild's birthday party at her lakefront mansion. Since I enjoyed acting, and needed money, I gave it a try. I checked out some books on how to be a party clown from the public library, put together a costume with my grandmother's help, and showed up at the party to do a few dopey magic tricks, act silly, and generally entertain the kids. I got a rave review from Ms. Heide, and ended up performing at a few other parties around town.</p> <p>My tween, on the other hand, excels at planning party themes and making pretty cakes. She has seriously considered offering to put together theme parties for families who don't want to do the work themselves, but also don't want to spend $300 or more to host a party at an event space or hire a professional party planner.</p> <h2>10. Assisting the Technologically Impaired</h2> <p>For some tweens, using the Internet to do everything from creating a photo book to setting up a new cell phone line comes naturally. If you have technophobe neighbors, your tween could help out with such tasks for a small fee. Teens who are really computer savvy could even charge for on-call tech support.</p> <h2>11. Garage Sale Concessions</h2> <p>This is a favorite with all my kids, including the littler ones. Whenever we have a yard sale, they set up a table and sell cotton candy, lemonade, baked goods, whatever edibles they can come up with. In fact, the kids beg me to hold a sale just so they can do this.</p> <h2>12. Tutoring</h2> <p>If your tween has the patience and is a good student, they could help a younger child with homework after school or offer extra help in a specific subject. Some parents would pay just to have someone read to their young child for half an hour a day.</p> <h2>13. Becoming a YouTuber</h2> <p>Believe it or not, there are children making <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3042385/Eight-year-old-mini-Martha-Stewart-earns-staggering-127-000-MONTH-YouTube-baking-tutorials.html" target="_blank">six figures a month</a> by posting videos on YouTube. From the looks of that channel, the top cooking show on the site, making it probably involves full-time adult help. But it's possible for kids to make videos of playing Minecraft, reviewing, playing with, and even unboxing toys, or something based on their own ideas, with little to no adult help, and make some money.</p> <p>If your child wants to make YouTube videos, you should do a safety check on each video before it's uploaded. Make sure there are no clues as to your physical residence, and that they don't share their full name, for instance. It's probably also a good idea to turn off the comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">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/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</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/how-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</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/15-ways-to-make-money-on-halloween">15 Ways to Make Money on Halloween</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/7-surprising-ways-to-earn-money-online">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</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/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Family entrepreneurs extra money first job jobs for tweens side gig side hustle small business Fri, 10 Mar 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1906472 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Paid for Paying Early with The Plum Card from American Express OPEN http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-618935990.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=249&amp;pid=144&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname" target="_blank">Plum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</a> is a unique business charge card that offers flexibility and options for the small business owner that isn't offered by other cards on the market. You can earn a 1.5% discount on your purchases when you pay early, or get up to 60 days to pay off your balance with no interest.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card is a charge card which means there&rsquo;s no preset spending limit and your balance usually must be paid in full each month. However, unlike other charge cards, this card includes the option to pay at least the minimum payment (10% of the balance from new activity plus any previously deferred balance) by the payment due date, to defer payment of the remainder of the balance until the new payment due date. This gives you up to 60 days from your statement date to pay your balance, which isn&rsquo;t an option you get with most other business credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card?ref=review">Should You Get a Business Card or a Consumer Card?)</a></p> <p>You also earn a 1.5% discount on the portion of your balance that you pay within 10 days of receiving your bill. You do have to pay at least your minimum payment by your payment due date.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=review">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <p>Terms apply.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ReceiptMatch</strong>. This card includes ReceiptMatch which allows you to keep track of your expenses and receipts. You can use your mobile device to take a photo of any receipt and then upload it and match it to the transaction on your online statement.</p> <p><strong>OPEN Savings</strong>. The Open Savings benefit gives you a 5% discount or two additional Membership Rewards points for each dollar you spend with OPEN Savings merchants.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$250 Annual Fee ($0 introductory annual fee your first year)</li> <li>No APR&nbsp;(balance is paid in full each month)</li> <li>No&nbsp;Foreign Transaction Fee<a href="https://www262.americanexpress.com/business-card-application/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/tandc/42732-9-0/?key=tncBody"><br /> </a></li> <p><a href="https://www262.americanexpress.com/business-card-application/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/tandc/42732-9-0/?key=tncBody">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=249&amp;pid=144&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2" rel="nofollow"><img width="154" height="50" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" /></a></p> <h2>Considerations</h2> <p><strong>No rewards program</strong>. Although you can earn a 1.5% discount on the portion of the balance you pay within 10 days of receiving your bill, there is no rewards program or additional bonuses for purchases. Other business credit cards may offer bonus rewards for office supply, telecommunications, travel, or even advertisement purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=review">Best Credit Cards for Office Supplies</a>)</p> <p><strong>Charge card limitations</strong>. For some business owners, it can be difficult having to pay the entire balance in full each month, even with the special feature this card offers extending it to 60 days. If you rather have the option to carry your balance from month to month for a longer term, you should choose a standard business credit card instead.</p> <p><strong>Annual fee</strong>. After the first year, the annual fee to carry this card is $250, which can get expensive, especially considering how light it is on the rewards and business benefits. If you aren&rsquo;t able to earn enough through the OPEN Savings network or by paying your balance early each month for the 1.5% discount, you could find this card costly.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>Although it doesn&rsquo;t come with some of the features you get with other business cards, this card could still be worth carrying if you can pay your balance in full and pay at least your minimum monthly payment within 10 days of your statement closing date. Further, if you frequently shop abroad or through merchants that are part of the OPEN Savings network, you could find yourself saving and earning more with this card than others. However, if you need to have the option carry a balance from month to month or prefer a more significant rewards program and lower annual fee, you should consider one of the many other business credit cards that are available.</p> <p>Terms apply.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=249&amp;pid=144&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Plum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN today!</strong></a><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=249&amp;pid=144&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send"><strong><br /> </strong></a></p> </ul> <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/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open">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/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Best Rewards Card: The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express</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/hotel-rewards-for-business-owners-american-express-starwood-preferred-guest-business-credit-card">Hotel Rewards for Business Owners: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card</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/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review">Cashing in at the Supermarket: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express 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/choose-your-business-rewards-american-express-simplycash-business-credit-card">Choose Your Business Rewards: SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express</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/love-travel-but-hate-airline-miles-try-amexs-blue-sky-preferred">Love Travel, But Hate Airline Miles? Try AmEx&#039;s Blue Sky Preferred</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards american express credit card reviews small business Sat, 11 Feb 2017 02:00:24 +0000 Christina Majaski 1860564 at http://www.wisebread.com Freelance Your Way to More Income and Flexibility http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626259596.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Freelancing is nothing new, but digital technology has made it easier than ever to work as an independent contractor from home &mdash; or the road. A 2016 survey by UpWork, a website matching freelancers with companies looking to hire, found that more people are freelancing than ever before, with 35% of the U.S. workforce now made up of freelancers.</p> <p>Why the growth? Employers like to hire freelancers, especially for temporary or project work, because the arrangement is more flexible, and they save on employee benefits and extra office space. Freelance workers gain by getting to choose the projects they want and working flexible hours. It's a work model that offers greater choice for both parties.</p> <h2>Challenges to Being a Freelancer</h2> <p>While freelancing offers concrete advantages, many people worry about giving up the stability and benefits of a traditional job. Losing company-sponsored health insurance, paid vacations and retirement contributions are indeed valid concerns, especially since it takes time to attract new clients and develop relationships with them.</p> <p>For this reason, some people do a combination of both types of work, retaining stability with a part- or full-time traditional job, while also following their passions and earning more money through additional freelance projects.</p> <p>For others, according to the UpWork survey, full-time freelance work actually feels <em>more </em>secure because they have several different clients, rather than relying on one employer for their income.</p> <p>Another major concern that freelancers share is receiving fair compensation for the work being done, as well as losing out on a reliable pay schedule. Freelancers often have to balance a &quot;feast or famine&quot; phenomenon, when they may either have too much work or not enough.</p> <p>Still, the UpWork survey showed 79% of freelancers viewed freelance work as better than working in a traditional setting, and half of them even said they wouldn't take back a traditional job, regardless of the compensation that was offered to them.</p> <p>That's not to say that freelancing is for everyone or for every type of job, but many of those who have decided to pursue this path have found it extremely rewarding.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></p> <h2>Greater Freedom and Flexibility</h2> <p>Freedom and flexibility are two of the biggest draws that attract people to work as freelancers, according to UpWork's survey findings. They feel they have more control over their work schedule by being their own boss. Long weekends are no longer reserved for holidays and special occasions.</p> <p>Many also enjoy the freedom to choose what type of work they want to do and, in many cases, where they do that work. Especially for people who have been commuting long distances or in heavy traffic to get to their workplace, working in a home office can be truly liberating.</p> <p>Plus, if you're just freelancing on the side, the extra cash may help alleviate stress about saving for retirement, travel or education.</p> <h2>Getting Started as a Freelancer</h2> <p>If you think the freelance lifestyle might be right for you, the first step is to identify a marketable skill you have that you can use to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one?ref=internal" target="_blank">attract potential clients</a>. Some examples include writing, editing, computer programming, business or financial consulting, and photography, just to name a few. Picking a clearly defined skill and, even better, a niche that you want to focus on will help you to cater to your potential clients and make you an attractive candidate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a>.)</p> <h3>Make a Portfolio</h3> <p>Gather a portfolio to showcase related projects you've worked on. These may be projects from your current full-time job, or from classes you've taken, or pro bono work you've done to gain experience in the field you want to pursue. A portfolio allows potential clients to see examples of your work to decide if they want to work with you. The better portfolio you're able to put together, the easier it will be to find clients.</p> <p>Depending on what type of freelance work you are going to do, you may want to make a website to showcase your portfolio online. You can also create a portfolio on <a href="https://www.upwork.com/" target="_blank">UpWork</a>, <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a>, or specialist websites like <a href="https://contently.com/" target="_blank">Contently</a> and <a href="https://www.clearvoice.com/" target="_blank">ClearVoice</a>, which focus on content marketing.</p> <h3>Create a Network</h3> <p>Like any job, networking is a very important part of finding freelance gigs. You can do this using social media, but you should also focus on real-life networking opportunities through conferences, professional organizations and Meetup groups. There is nothing that can replace the value of meeting people face-to-face.</p> <p>Even social gatherings in your everyday life could lead to valuable contacts. Bring up the work that you do in casual conversations and you'll be surprised how many doors may open for you.</p> <h3>Pitch Your Best Ideas</h3> <p>If you have a great idea for a project, now is the time to reach out to potential clients and, in a professional manner, pitch your idea to them. There's an art to writing a great pitch. Especially if you're contacting an editor or CEO you don't know personally, you will need to make as good of an impression as possible over email.</p> <p>This is the equivalent of cold calling, so you need to have your pitch polished and well thought out. For writing gigs, it's often recommended to provide a specific outline and an article title. Think about the company's needs, and then send them your best ideas, not run-of-the- mill ideas that anyone could have thought of.</p> <h2>Remember, You're Running a Business</h2> <p>Once you've made the leap to freelancing, whether it's full time or as a side gig, remember you are running a business. You'll need to track your business spending (a dedicated <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal" target="_blank">business credit card</a> can help with this), as well as organize your billing, taxes and retirement savings. This all takes time that you'll need to work into your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a>.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility">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/what-to-do-when-youre-sick-of-your-side-gig">What to Do When You&#039;re Sick of Your Side Gig</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/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</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/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</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/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</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/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income career free time freelance self employment side gig small business Wed, 01 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1879593 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Business Travel Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/best-business-travel-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-business-travel-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000042581002.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a small business? Having a business travel rewards credit card can be a great way to separate your business and personal expenses while earning valuable points and miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=5x">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Business credit cards work much like personal cards, except that they offer rewards that are focused on the expenses of business users, such as office supplies, telecommunications services, and advertising. In addition, these cards can offer valuable features for business users including employee cards, payment summaries, transaction tagging, and receipt tracking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card?ref=5x">When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card</a>)</p> <p>Here are the best business travel credit cards that you should consider.</p> <h2>Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard&reg;</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src=" http://www.ftjcfx.com/image-2822544-12994381-1502207519000" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards World MasterCard&reg; for Business" alt="Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards World MasterCard&reg; for Business" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=158&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/button-learn-more.png" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=158&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard&reg; credit card</a> is a great option for business travelers. This card awards 1.5 points for each dollar spent on all purchases. Earn 3 points for every dollar spent on travel booked through the Bank of America&reg; Travel Center - powered by Orbitz&reg;. Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for your flights, hotels, rentals, and other travel purchases. Earn a bonus of 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 60 days of opening the account. There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=158&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard&reg; credit card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard&reg;&nbsp;</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://www.awltovhc.com/image-2822544-12994380-1502207501000" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" alt="Bank of America&reg; Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard&reg; Credit Card" title="Bank of America&reg; Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard&reg; Credit Card" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=157&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/button-learn-more.png" alt="" /></a>For those who tend to drive rather than fly for business, the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=157&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard&reg; credit card</a> offers 3% cash back on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores and 2% at restaurants, up to a combined $250,000 per year. All other purchases earn 1%. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after $500 in purchases within the first 60 days. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=157&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Bank of America&reg; Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard&reg; credit card today!</strong></a></p> <!--<h2>Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-miles-business-011916.png" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business&nbsp;card</a> offers unlimited 2x miles on all purchases. Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p>--><!--<h2>Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-miles-business-011916.png" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business&nbsp;card</a> offers unlimited 2x miles on all purchases. Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p>--><h2>CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Mastercard&reg;</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiBusinessAAdvantagePlatinumSelectWorldMasterCard-0601.JPG" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>American Airlines customers will appreciate the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Mastercard&reg;</a>, from our partner Citi, which offers double miles on all American Airlines purchases, and on&nbsp;telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations,&nbsp;and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Benefits include preferred boarding on American Airlines domestic flights and your first bag checked free. In addition, you can earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate each year when you use your card to spend $30,000 or more. Finally, new cardholders can earn 30,000 &nbsp;American Airlines AAdvantage&reg;&nbsp;bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that's waived the first 12 months, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Mastercard&reg; today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Business Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/4a658ab48d351170f874ed714e983584.png" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=15&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=15&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Business Credit Card from American Express</a> is a great option for business travelers. Cardholders up to five Starpoints for each dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels and one point for each dollar spent on other purchases. Plus, for a limited time, new cardmembers can earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints&reg; after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints&reg; after you make an additional $4,000 in purchases on the card within the first 6 months. (Offer ends 11/1/2017.) Other benefits include free in-room internet, complimentary access to Sheraton Club lounge, and SPG Elite status. Terms apply. There is no foreign transaction fee on international purchases. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. <a href="https://www262.americanexpress.com/business-card-application/starwood-preferred-guest-business-credit-card/tandc/42732-AJTnC-0/?pznOfferCode=&amp;key=tncBody">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=15&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Business Credit Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>The Business Platinum&reg; Card from American Express OPEN</h2> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/6c518c1d6c6397ce2a1fbe3b52928cfd.png" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" border="0" alt="" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank"> Business Platinum&reg; Card from American Express OPEN</a> is a charge card that gives you one point for each dollar you spend on purchases under $5,000, 1.5 points per dollar for each purchase $5,000 or over, and 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You can earn up to 75,000 bonus points after meeting spending requirements. This card comes with access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges, Priority Pass Select, and American Express Centurion lounges. Get 50% of your points back when you use them for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and 50% back on First and Business class flights with all airlines available through American Express Travel. Another perk is the $200 annual airline fee credit for qualifying airlines and a $100 credit toward the Global Entry application fee or $85 for the TSA PreCheck program. Terms apply. There are no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $450. <a href="https://www262.americanexpress.com/business-card-application/business-platinum-charge-card/tandc/42732-AJTnC-0/?key=tncBody">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Business Platinum&reg; 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-business-travel-credit-cards">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</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">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/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</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/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">The Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</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-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards small business Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 1711478 at http://www.wisebread.com Extra Cash for Your Small Business: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/extra-cash-for-your-small-business-capital-one-spark-cash-select-for-business-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/extra-cash-for-your-small-business-capital-one-spark-cash-select-for-business-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000018269558_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you prefer flat rate rewards programs over rotating categories, the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=181&amp;pid=104&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname&amp;fot=1329 ">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash Select for Business Credit Card</a> is one of simplest and most convenient, no-fee business rewards credit cards available. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>$200 one-time cash back bonus</li> <li>1.5% cash back on all purchases</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card awards a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with the card. You can earn an unlimited amount of cash back, which does not expire for the life of the account.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>One-time bonus</strong>: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Cash for Sign-Up</a>)</p> <p>You can request your cash back as a statement credit or check in any amount, with no minimum requirements.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free employee cards</strong>. Add employees to your account, set limits, and track spending at no additional charge.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Business tools</strong>. Capital One provides tools which can assist in managing and organizing your business expenses such as quarterly and year-end custom itemized reports of your spending and purchase records that you can download into formats such as QuickBooks and Excel.</p> <p><strong>Visa SavingsEdge</strong>. Ttake advantage of savings and discounts of as much as 15 percent with retailers such as Wyndham Grand Hotels and Resorts and OfficeFurniture.com.</p> <p><strong>Travel assistance services</strong>. These services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and are helpful when you are traveling for business and include assistance with services such as ticket replacement, and legal or medical referrals.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>13.99% - 21.99% Variable APR (0% introductory APR on purchases for 9 months)</li> <li>$0 Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>$0 Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=181&amp;pid=104&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1329" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" width="154" height="50" /></a></p> <h2>Considerations</h2> <p><strong>Low rate of rewards</strong>. If the majority of your spending falls into a particular category such as gasoline or office supplies, you can earn more rewards with credit cards that award those purchases. (See also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Credit Card is best for small business owners whose spending varies and does not fall into any specific category from month to month. This card is also one of the best available for small businesses because it is essentially fee-free and is especially ideal if you frequently travel abroad or need to make international purchases.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=181&amp;pid=104&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1329 ">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash Select for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></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/extra-cash-for-your-small-business-capital-one-spark-cash-select-for-business-credit-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-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/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-business-credit-card-review">Easy Business Rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit 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/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-business-credit-card-review">Unlimited Cash Rewards for Your Business: Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card Review</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Don&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One® Venture® Rewards 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/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open">Get Paid for Paying Early with The Plum Card from American Express OPEN</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/capital-one-secured-mastercard-the-best-option-for-repairing-your-credit">Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: The Best Option for Repairing Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Capital One credit card reviews small business Wed, 11 May 2016 21:18:26 +0000 Christina Majaski 1689467 at http://www.wisebread.com Unlimited Cash Rewards for Your Business: Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-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="/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-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_000082557113_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong><em>Editor's Note: This offer is currently unavailable.</em></strong></p> <p>The Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash for Business Credit Card&nbsp;offers the&nbsp;opportunity to earn cash back for your business purchases. Here are the features that separate it from other business cards, to help you determine if this card is best for your business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>$500 one-time cash bonus offer</li> <li>2% cash back for all purchases</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card awards 2% cash back on all purchases made with the card. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and your rewards do not expire for the life of the account.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer</strong>: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.</p> <p>You can redeem your cash back in any amount without any minimum requirements, in the form of a statement credit or check.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free employee cards</strong>. You can add employee cards to your account, set individual limits, and track spending at no additional cost, which will allow you to earn cash back on the purchases they make.</p> <p><strong>Small business tools</strong>. Create and download quarterly and year-end summaries of custom, itemized reports, to help manage and organize your finances.</p> <p><strong>Visa business benefits</strong>. This card includes Visa business benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase security and extended protection, and travel and emergency assistance services for help with services such as legal or medical referrals or ticket replacement when you are traveling.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$59 Annual Fee (waived the first year)</li> <li>17.99% Variable APR</li> <li>$0 Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>$0 Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <!--<p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1330" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" width="154" height="50" /></a></p>--><!--<p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1330" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" width="154" height="50" /></a></p>--><h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Valuable bonus</strong>. The spending requirement of $4,500 is slightly higher than most bonuses, but the bonus itself is also more than the amount that credit cards usually offer. If you need to make a large business purchase right away, you can essentially receive a $500 discount just for using your credit card. This bonus can also help cover the annual fee for several years after the first waived year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Cash for Sign-Up</a>)</p> <p><strong>No balance transfer fee</strong>. If you need to transfer and pay down a balance currently on a credit card with a higher APR, you can do so without paying the fee typically charged by most business credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>Flat rate rewards</strong>. There are no spending categories or quarterly rotating categories to sign-up for or manage. Every purchase made with the card, regardless of the type of purchase, conveniently earns a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=review">flat rate cash back</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee</strong>. If you frequently travel abroad, or you need to make purchases outside of the United States, a foreign transaction fee would cancel out any rewards earned from the card. Not all business cards do not charge a foreign transaction fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-secured-cards-with-low-or-no-foreign-transaction-fees?ref=review">5 Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee</strong>. Although the annual fee is waived the first year, you should make sure you earn enough rewards each year to help pay for carrying the credit card and still benefit. If you won't use the card enough to cover the annual fee, credit cards without annual fees can be more cost effective choices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>Higher APR</strong>. The APR on this card is quite high when compared to many other business credit cards. The APR is less of an issue if you typically pay your balance in full rather than carry balances from month to month. But, if you regularly carry a balance, you should select the card that offers the lowest APR possible, even it means sacrificing a rewards program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Spark Cash for Business Credit Card is best if you can spend enough every year to earn the rewards needed to cover your annual fee. This card is also best for consumers who prefer a flat rate rewards program, generally pay balances in full each month, and for those who may need to use the card for foreign transactions.</p> <!--<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1330">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="img-exempt" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-cash-business-011916.png" alt="" border="0" /><br /> <a target="_blank" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1330"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p>--><!--<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1330">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Cash for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img class="img-exempt" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-cash-business-011916.png" alt="" border="0" /><br /> <a target="_blank" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=182&amp;pid=30&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1330"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></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/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-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-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/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-business-credit-card-review">Easy Business Rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit 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/extra-cash-for-your-small-business-capital-one-spark-cash-select-for-business-credit-card">Extra Cash for Your Small Business: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Credit Card</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Don&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One® Venture® Rewards 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/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open">Get Paid for Paying Early with The Plum Card from American Express OPEN</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/capital-one-secured-mastercard-the-best-option-for-repairing-your-credit">Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: The Best Option for Repairing Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Capital One credit card reviews small business Mon, 18 Apr 2016 22:24:06 +0000 Christina Majaski 1689468 at http://www.wisebread.com Easy Business Rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-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="/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-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_000063167657_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em><strong>Editor's Note: This offer is currently unavailable.</strong></em></p> <p>The Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card&nbsp;offers a flat rate for all purchases. This card includes valuable business and travel benefits that can come in handy for any sized business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>Double miles on every purchase made with the card</li> <li>One-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 within 3 months from account opening</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card awards double miles for every dollar spent with your card on all purchases. You can earn an unlimited number of miles, which do not expire for the life of the account.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer</strong>: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles, equal to $500 in travel, after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.</p> <p>You can redeem your miles in a couple different ways. For example, you can use Purchase Eraser feature to redeem your miles as credit toward travel purchases such as car rentals, hotels, airlines, taxi cabs, and limo services, made within the last 90 days. You can also redeem miles through the Capital One Rewards Center, for flights, car rentals, or hotel stays. In addition to the travel options, you can redeem miles for cash in the form of a check or account credit and gift cards.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free employee cards</strong>. You can request additional employee cards, set individual spending limits, and allow employees to make business purchases and add to the miles, at no additional cost to you.</p> <p><strong>Quarterly and year-end summaries</strong>. Includes time-saving features designed to help manage your business more efficiently. Create and download custom itemized reports of your spending, which helps in planning, budgeting, and preparing for tax time.</p> <p><strong>Visa Business Benefits</strong>. Receive access to Visa Business Benefits, which include additional benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver for covering rental cars in the event of collision or theft, purchase protection which covers lost or stolen purchases, and extended warranty. Visa Business Benefits includes travel and emergency assistance services as well.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$59 Annual Fee (waived the first year)</li> <li>17.99% variable APR</li> <li>$0 Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>$0 Foreign Transaction Fee</li> <!--<p><a rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1331" target="_blank"><img class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" width="154" height="50" /></a></p>--><!--<p><a rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1331" target="_blank"><img class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" width="154" height="50" /></a></p>--><h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Bonus offer</strong>. The one-time bonus of 50,000 miles, which, depending on how you redeem, is worth approximately $500. Although the spending requirement is higher than most, this is a highly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=review">valuable bonus</a>, especially considering the annual fee is only $59 and waived the first year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Cash for Sign-Up</a>)</p> <p><strong>Double miles without categories</strong>. There are no special purchase categories or rotating categories that change every quarter. Instead, you earn a flat rate of two miles for every dollar spent with the card regardless of the type of purchase you make. Flat rate rewards programs are often easier to manage and less of a hassle than wondering each time you use your card if you are making a purchase that earns rewards. Furthermore, this card offers one of the highest flat rates. There are also very few business rewards cards that offer flat rate rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>No balance transfer fee</strong>. If you need to transfer a balance from another card, you can transfer to this card without paying the usual fee of 3%-5%. While this can save you money, it is important that you also consider the APR before transferring to make sure you don&rsquo;t end up paying more in interest and cancel out the savings from transferring without an additional fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee</strong>. There is also no foreign transaction fee with this card, which makes it ideal for those who frequently travel abroad and plan on making purchases in foreign countries. (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">5 Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee of $59</strong>. If you don&rsquo;t plan to make a large purchase within your first three months and miss earning the bonus, you will have to make sure you earn enough rewards throughout the year to help pay for the annual fee beginning after the first waived year. If you can&rsquo;t guarantee that you&rsquo;ll be able to cover the annual fee, you should instead consider a card with no annual fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>Higher APR than other travel cards</strong>. The APR is a bit higher than the APR offered with other travel rewards credit cards. However, if you typically pay your balance in full each month, the high APR is less of a concern. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>No introductory APR</strong>. Although there is no balance transfer fee, you won&rsquo;t benefit from transferring a balance to this card unless you transfer from a card charging a higher APR. There is also no introductory APR for purchases, which often helps small business owners save money while stocking up on business supplies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards with 0% Intro APRs for Balance Transfers</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit Card is best for small business owners whose purchases include travel-related expenses that you can cover with the miles earned. It is also best for those whose purchases might be foreign, and if you prefer a card awarding a flat rate on purchases and if your purchases vary and are not exclusive to one brand or type. Although it is important you spend enough each year to cover the annual fee, this card is especially ideal if you have a big purchase planned and can earn the bonus currently being offered.</p> <!--<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1331">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-miles-business-011916.png" class="img-exempt" border="0" /><br /> <a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1331" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a></p>--><!--<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1331">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-miles-business-011916.png" class="img-exempt" border="0" /><br /> <a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=183&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1331" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a></p>--></ul> <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/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-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-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/extra-cash-for-your-small-business-capital-one-spark-cash-select-for-business-credit-card">Extra Cash for Your Small Business: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Credit 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/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-business-credit-card-review">Unlimited Cash Rewards for Your Business: Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card Review</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Don&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One® Venture® Rewards 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/get-paid-for-paying-early-with-the-plum-card-from-american-express-open">Get Paid for Paying Early with The Plum Card from American Express OPEN</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/capital-one-secured-mastercard-the-best-option-for-repairing-your-credit">Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: The Best Option for Repairing Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Capital One credit card reviews small business Wed, 13 Apr 2016 23:13:24 +0000 Christina Majaski 1689519 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_business_owner_000075170859.jpg" alt="Woman using helpful tools to manage her small business" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It takes great discipline and organization to successfully manage a small business. But if you're able to do so, being your own boss is only one of the perks. A lot of things can get in your way, though: procrastination, learning how to cope with isolation (if you do most of your business alone), accumulating a steady workflow, and learning how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">manage finances</a>. And there's also the challenge of maximizing time and being your most productive self.</p> <p>You will burn yourself out trying to please clients and meet a bunch of deadlines without the proper tools in your arsenal. Try these tools and strategies in order to automate your workflow and increase productivity.</p> <h2>1. Find the Right CRM and Project Management Tools</h2> <p>You need customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software (PMS) systems to successfully manage your freelance jobs. Zoho, Trello, and Asana offer a free solution that comes with a suite of business apps to help you automate your workflow. The apps integrate directly into the product dashboards, making tracking projects and customer satisfaction even easier.</p> <h2>2. If You Sell Products, add an E-Commerce Solution</h2> <p>In today's business environment, doing business without an e-commerce solution is almost impossible, and downright bad for business. Always-connected consumers expect the convenience of being able to make online purchases and mobile payments. Make sure you get a responsive website that adapts across devices with an integrated e-commerce solution.</p> <p>If your sales volume is low or you don't want the hassle of complicated software, use a readymade solution for professional services and online storefronts, like 3dcart, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Magento and sync it to your Stripe, Square, or PayPal payment gateway.</p> <h2>3. Offer Customer Support</h2> <p>According to Gartner, a marketing research firm, customers expect real-time 24/7 customer support. Of course it sounds ridiculous to provide around-the-clock customer support when you have a million other things on your plate each day, but unfortunately, that is not something clients should have to recognize if they are to do business with you. Your correspondence must be timely.</p> <p>Partner with a call center and/or web chat provider and add contact and support ticket forms to your website. ZenDesk is a full customer service solutions provider, including 24/7 customer support, email management, and support tickets. LivePerson offers affordable web chat solutions, as well.</p> <h2>4. Utilize Social Media and Email Marketing</h2> <p>Hootsuite and SproutSocial are two popular SMM systems for automating social media marketing campaigns. They each enable its users the ability to schedule posts and publish across multiple social media platforms. And now, a new feature; social customer service, deepens the automation rabbit hole even further by providing real-time customer support across social pages. The dashboard includes powerful analytics tools for measuring social reach and engagement. Get these same great automation features for your email marketing campaigns with well-known email marketing providers like: Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor.</p> <h2>5. Take Advantage of Cloud Storage and File Sharing</h2> <p>Small businesses can use file sharing and storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive to secure e-signatures on contracts and agreements using the HelloSign (Google Drive) and RightSignature (Dropbox) add-ons. The many app integration options add lots of dynamic features. For instance, Merge by MailChimp is an app that lets you send Google docs as email campaigns and Pixsta by SweetLabs is a discoverable app that loads Instagram content directly onto your device.</p> <h2>6. Master Financial Management</h2> <p>One of the most important processes of running a business is managing finances. Cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software solutions make it easy. Xero and QuickBooks Online help you streamline invoicing, reporting, and bank reconciliations. You can eliminate the grueling tasks of having to export and email spreadsheets to your accountant by inviting them to have limited access to your account.</p> <p>These tools should help you feel more confident about increasing your workflow by taking on more projects. The more discipline and control you have, the more successful you (and your company) will be.</p> <p><em>Are you a small business owner? What tools do you use? Share with us in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-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-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/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</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-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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-ways-to-prepare-for-your-work-at-home-gig">6 Ways to Prepare for Your Work at Home Gig</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-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity business tools self employed side job small business Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1622169 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-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/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup</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/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</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-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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, traditional bank loans 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 7(a) loan program eligibility 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 average microloan is about $13,000.</p> <h3>Real Estate and Equipment Loans: CDC/504</h3> <p>A CDC/504 loan 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 disaster loan. 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 appraise eligible receivables 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. Swift Capital</h2> <p><a href="http://prf.hn/click/camref:1101l34Tk/creativeref:1100l18786">Swift Capital</a> allows you to apply for a small business loan with a prequalification process that only takes five minutes. You could qualify for funding as little as $5K or as much as $500K at a fixed cost with terms ranging from three to 12 months. The fixed fee, excluding any origination fees, can be as low as 9.9%. Swift Capital also offers a Best Price Guarantee. If you have an offer that is lower, Swift Capital will beat it or pay you $500.</p> <h2>5. 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 href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11145625-1452787774000" rel="nofollow" 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>6. 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 href="http://lendingclub.pxf.io/c/27771/322506/4962">Lending Club</a> has issued over $11.17 billion in P2P loans since 2007. In 2012, Lending Club issued a total of 1,386 small business loans 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 5.99% 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>7. Prosper</h2> <p>The pioneer of P2P lending in the U.S., <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27127/994" rel="nofollow" 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>8. CircleBackLending</h2> <p>CircleBackLending 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>9. 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 PersonalLoans.com 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>10. 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>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. Some cards also offer a cash bonus for new cardmembers that can help pay for startup equipment and bills. (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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%252B%2520Smart%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520a%2520Small%2520Business%2520Loan.jpg&amp;description=10%2B%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Get%20a%20Small%20Business%20Loan"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%2B%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Get%20a%20Small%20Business%20Loan.jpg" alt="" align="middle" width="250" height="374" />&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</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-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-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">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/the-self-employed-persons-guide-to-getting-credit">The Self-Employed Person&#039;s Guide to Getting Credit</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/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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 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-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/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/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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">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/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</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/lessons-we-can-learn-from-blockbusters-demise">Lessons We Can Learn From Blockbuster&#039;s Demise</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 10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/working-from-home-80410876-small.jpg" alt="working from home" title="working from home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've now spent over two years as a freelancer. When I started my freelance writing and content development business, <a href="http://chasingdownthemuse.com">Chasing Down the Muse</a>, I knew I would learn a lot along the way about business, my skills, and what it takes to make a go of a freelance life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right?ref=seealso">Freelancing: A Beginner's Guide to Doing It Right</a>)</p> <p>In preparation for this article, I also spoke to a number of freelancing friends and colleagues about the actions that drive their success. Here are the top 10 commonalities I found.</p> <h2>1. Hang Up Your Shingle Online and Off</h2> <p>Tell everyone, and I mean everyone, what you're doing! Create a website, business cards, LinkedIn profile, email address with signature, and networking plan. You can build it, but no one is going to come if they can't find you. When people ask you what you do, tell them. Announce your freelance life and its progress on social media. I've been amazed over the last two years how many leads have come from my existing personal and professional networks even though this new business was a complete departure from my degrees and previous jobs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-linkedin-profile-noticed-with-a-few-attention-grabbing-tweaks?ref=seealso">Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pitch, Pitch, Pitch</h2> <p>Understand that you are now salesperson-in-chief of your new business. You need to turn over every rock that looks interesting to you, whether they're actively looking for a freelancer like you or not. Pitches are seeds. Some of them will sprout quickly, some will take cultivation, and others won't sprout at all. However, one thing's for sure: If you don't pitch, you won't get the work.</p> <h2>3. Think Creatively About Your Value</h2> <p>What are all of the ways someone could utilize your skills? I write web and marketing copy, fundraising proposals, social media posts, blog pieces, traditional journalism, fiction, and nonfiction across a wide variety of topics from tech to food and almost everything in-between. When I started out, I thought about all of the uses for content where I could look for opportunities in addition to creating my own personal work. This was an incredibly valuable exercise because it helped me to identify clients that I previously didn't consider viable.</p> <h2>4. Know Your Worth</h2> <p>As you pitch, network, and think creatively about all of the ways you could earn a living from your skills, you will undoubtedly come across a myriad of opportunities. Before you sort through the options, use how you value your time and work as a lens to filter them. I have a minimum dollar amount for all of the writing I do. If an opportunity pays significantly less than that minimum, and I can't find another reason to take the gig (great connections, opportunity to learn about a new topic that interests me, significant exposure, etc.), then I turn it down. As a freelancer, turning down paid work is difficult to do. However, if you take every gig that comes your way, no matter what it pays, you'll find your schedule cluttered and you'll be making a living that's not sustainable. Know your worth and state it with confidence.</p> <h2>5. Leave Space in Your Calendar</h2> <p>Following on the idea of knowing your worth, you will find that periodically there will be space in your schedule, particularly as you get started. Don't be afraid of that empty space. You need it &mdash; to recharge, evaluate how you're doing, and go after new, exciting prospects.</p> <p>This is an especially difficult one for me because I like to be busy and productive. I took every single job that came my way my first year and by the end of it, I was completely exhausted. I made my desired nut (barely), however I paid a huge price for it health-wise. If I had been less afraid of the empty space, I believe I would have been more successful and happier that first year in business because I would have only done work I truly wanted to do and not work I felt that I had to do. After all, that's why I decided to leave my corporate job and take this freelance path &mdash; to do work I love.</p> <h2>6. What Gets Measured Gets Done</h2> <p>I've always been very goal driven and I find that I am most motivated to achieve a goal when I track my progress toward it. I set monthly and annual personal, professional, and financial goals and regularly review how I'm doing against those goals. If I miss them, I sit back and consider how and why that happened. If I hit them, I think about whether or not they unfolded as planned. If I surpass them, I spend some time evaluating if I underestimated myself. No matter what, I celebrate because I learn something new every single time.</p> <h2>7. Schedule It</h2> <p>The hardest thing for a lot of freelancers is managing a schedule. But you have to create a structure that works for you. Every week day, I get up early, walk my dog, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and get to work. When I had a corporate job, most of that timing was established for me. Now that I work out of my home, I need to be vigilant about my own schedule to stay productive and on-task. While some friends think I can get together or chat on the phone at any time since I'm working at home, I make sure to set clear boundaries. I rarely take personal calls during my working hours, and I try hard to honor an end to my working day so I can enjoy my personal life, too. It doesn't always go exactly according to plan, but then again neither does a corporate job schedule. Things come up and we have to be flexible from time-to-time. Life happens.</p> <h2>8. Speak With Confidence</h2> <p>When someone asks what you do, look them in the eye, smile, and say it with confidence. This is especially important (and sometimes difficult) as you first start your freelance life. A friend, family member, or complete stranger you meet in the grocery store could have a line to your next great work opportunity. If you explain what you do clearly, succinctly, and confidently, it helps everyone to make a strong connection to ways they may be able to help you.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Skills Sharp</h2> <p>A freelance life is busy. You've got a lot of balls in the air and it's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day. However, it's crucial to keep your existing skills up-to-date and to acquire new skills that are interesting to you and helpful to your work. Now that online learning is so plentiful, conferences of all shapes and sizes are popping up everywhere, and information is so democratically distributed online, you have a myriad of ways to stay current. Save some time in your schedule for learning; the future of your success depends on it in this fast-paced world.</p> <h2>10. Keep 3 Buckets of Work</h2> <p>The one trick that has been the single best practice in my business is my use of what I call the three buckets. I divide my work into thirds:</p> <ul> <li>One-third for keeping my current projects on track;</li> <li>One-third for pitching new projects; and</li> <li>One-third for researching longer-term potential projects.</li> </ul> <p>I keep track of all of my work in these three buckets and it's helped me to find success in the short-term while also helping me seed the ground for future success.</p> <p>Above all, remember why you started this freelance journey and make sure to revisit that original motivation often. Is it living up to your expectations and is it fulfilling? Are you happier now than you were before you started freelancing? These are important questions to continually ask yourself as you chart your own path to professional and personal success.</p> <p><em>Are you a freelancer? What actions have you taken that helped create your success? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">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/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</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-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</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-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million</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-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship freelance productivity small business work from home Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1192001 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-167146229.jpg" alt="man" title="man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thanks to popular media and the glamorous success of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and even Mark Cuban, the idea of entrepreneurship is all the rage these days.</p> <p>A 2012 study showed that 54% of <a href="http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/2012/11/an-entrepreneurial-generation-of-18-to-34yearolds-wants-to-start-companies-when-economy-rebounds-according-to-new-poll">millenials want to start a business</a>, despite only 8% actually running a business at the time of the survey. When we think of entrepreneurship, words like &quot;freedom,&quot; &quot;wealth,&quot; &quot;passion,&quot; or &quot;fame&quot; might come to mind. We love the idea of being our own boss and the sole beneficiary of our own labor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso">Starting a Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think</a>)</p> <p>Few, however, understand what entrepreneurship really is. At its core, being an entrepreneur comes down to your ability to make one key sale.</p> <h2>You're the Product</h2> <p>Think of a sales pitch. The presenters walk in, introduce themselves, and pitch their product. Each of you have a product to sell, and the product is... wait for it... you!</p> <p>Regardless of profession, we are all required to sell ourselves in some capacity. In the context of our lives, we are our own most valuable product.</p> <p>For entrepreneurs, the ability to sell themselves is their single most important skill. At no point do entrepreneurs stop selling.</p> <ul> <li>Product pitch? Selling</li> <li>Investor meeting? Selling</li> <li>Top talent hiring? Selling</li> <li>Customer acquisition? Selling</li> </ul> <p>If you've ever attempted to acquire a small business loan, you know your business plan is only half the story. The bank wants to know if YOU are a good investment. Ever watch Shark Tank? Those investors will laugh at a product and then fork over $100k, simply because the entrepreneur was able to sell him or herself well.</p> <p>The truth is you cannot be a successful entrepreneur without the ability sell your most valuable product &mdash; you.</p> <h2>How to Sell Your Most Valuable Product</h2> <p>So what does it look like to &quot;sell&quot; yourself like a product? How can you influence people to buy into you?</p> <h3>1. Identify Your Value Proposition</h3> <p>Your &quot;value proposition&quot; is a fancy way of describing your selling point. What makes you uniquely valuable? What specifically do you have to offer? What makes you irreplaceable?</p> <p>If you think you don't have a value proposition, you're wrong! No one else on Earth has the exact same combination of experiences and talents as you. You might need to spend some time investing in yourself (acquiring education, skills, and experience), but you have something to offer. Identify it! And then offer it!</p> <h3>2. Fall in Love With Yourself</h3> <p>The best sales people truly believe in their product. They know it inside and out and can't stop talking about it. Once you've identified your unique selling point, it's time to fall in love with yourself. It's time to get excited about you!</p> <p>If you don't believe in yourself, there's a better than average chance no one else will, either. Don't limit this idea to the positive thinking routine. When I'm confident in myself, I impart that confidence to others. People around me get a gut feeling that I have what it takes. Confidence and passion are infectious.</p> <p>Don't sell yourself short. Get excited about you!</p> <h3>3. Get Out There and Sell</h3> <p>Success in sales is all about playing the numbers.</p> <p>Entrepreneurs know the more people they pitch their product to, the more customers they'll acquire. You'll never accomplish your dreams from the couch.</p> <p>Selling requires action. You have go put yourself out there. You always have to risk a &quot;no&quot; if you want a shot at getting a &quot;yes.&quot; In five years, you probably won't regret &quot;wasting&quot; a day on failed interviews. You might not feel the same way about those daily six hours of television.</p> <h3>4. Always Be Closing</h3> <p>This old sales adage is a classic for a reason. Every successful salesman and entrepreneur knows you can't make a sale without closing. The close is the point in your pitch where you bring your audience to a point of decision. This is of the utmost importance. You have to bring people to a decision. You have to request them to take an actionable step.</p> <p>Without the close, the presentation was nothing more than an informational experience. Your audience now knows about one more thing they'll never buy. But the close changes everything. As you convince others to buy into you, bring them to a point of action. Require a response.</p> <p>I've witnessed firsthand the power of this technique. At the beginning of my career, I&rsquo;d send informative emails out to prospective clients, detailing my experience and inquiring about their needs. I&rsquo;d hear back from 1 in 15... maybe.</p> <p>The entire goal of my emails wasn&rsquo;t to get hired. It was simply to achieve a response. I realized that describing my qualifications just offered another sheet of information for the recipient to glance at and move on. I wasn't closing in my copy.</p> <p>So I changed my approach. I started using wording that forced the reader to form an opinion and influenced a response. Sometimes it was a direct pitch, other times a suggestion, question, or offer. Each target requires a slightly different approach, but the point is, I&rsquo;m attempting to close the target within my email.</p> <p>This change in approach has increased my response rate to 1 in 5. For segments where I&rsquo;ve discerned a trending problem I can fix, it's as high as 1 in 2.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>The point is, if you want to be successful, you must be willing and able to sell yourself like a luxury product. The sales process can be applied to virtually any business relationship (I'd advise you to leave it out of your personal ones). You are your own most valuable product, and you&rsquo;ll never stop selling.</p> <p><em>Are you considering starting your own business? Have you thought about how you are going to sell yourself?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">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/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think — Here&#039;s How</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-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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">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/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business sales small business starting a business Fri, 23 May 2014 08:00:44 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1140156 at http://www.wisebread.com