How Your Small Business Benefits from Lines of Credit

How Your Small Business Benefits from Lines of Credit

Financing can be a big obstacle for small businesses. When you’re just starting out, the expenses related to daily operations can sometimes seem insurmountable. While it might be a challenge at first, there are plenty of simple decisions you can consider in order to improve the way you handle your budget. One of the more useful options available to you is opening lines of credit for your small business. Take a moment to learn more about this solution and discover what you need to do in order to get started with this financing service.

What Are Business Lines of Credit?

To know the advantages of this service, you first need to know how it works. Essentially, taking out a credit line for your business is very similar to taking out a personal credit line. You will go to a lender and fill out the required application. The lender will base your eligibility around factors like your credit score and current business standing. In most cases, the amount you are approved for will be based around key assets in your possession or projected future sales. Your lender will let you know more about the specifics of the credit.

What Are the Advantages of Credit Lines?

There are several benefits your small business can expect when it comes to taking out lines of credit. For one, having access to funds when you require them can be a huge help. You never know when an unforeseen issue will arise that demands financial attention. Having a credit line provides peace of mind, knowing you can handle whatever comes along without stress. Similarly, growing your company is a lot easier when you have access to working capital at all times through your credit line.

How Does This Differ From a Loan?

While there are some similarities between taking out a credit line and taking out a loan, there are also significant differences. For one, a loan is a lump sum that comes to you from a lender and needs to be paid back with interest by a certain date. With a credit line, you only pay back what you use. If you never touch the credit, then you never need to worry about paying back any of the funds. Loans and credit lines both are useful in different situations, so learn more to know what is best for you.

Understanding your financing options can make all the difference for your small business. Take time to learn more about lines of credit and discover whether it is a good option for your future.

Outsourcing for Small Businesses

Outsourcing for Small Businesses

Sometimes you can’t devote adequate time to an issue or don’t have the necessary experience. Instead of taking on all the work yourself, you may benefit from outsourcing to specialized firms. If this is appealing, here are five things you need to consider as you look for partners.

1. Think About Security

If you work with a partner, you’re going to have to hand over certain data. It’s essential that you think about cybersecurity when you do this.

Is the shared information sensitive? Would a breach put your business and customers at risk? It’s best if you can keep this kind of information in-house to prevent a mess. However, if you absolutely must share sensitive information, you need to have a thorough chat with your partner about the cybersecurity they have in place to prevent breaches.

2. Own Your Data

In the event you’re seeking a partner for website development, you should make sure you keep ownership of any data or code that’s generated. Otherwise, you’re giving up control over your website. Before you sign any contracts, make sure the fine print clearly leaves the code in your possession.

3. Have a Liaison

Your outsourcing partners should have one point of contact with your company. This can be you or an employee you appoint as the liaison, but it should be only one person. Not a department, not a team — one person.

Why does this matter? Multiple contacts can lead to confusion as people make different or conflicting requests. Your partner also needs to know where to send questions and your business needs to ensure they’re answered in a timely manner.

4. Do Your Research

Before you sign a contract with any company, it’s essential that you do your research. You’ll be putting a lot of power in your partners’ hands and you need to know they can deliver. Make sure to read reviews and look up any applicable organizations where complaints may be lodged.

5. Define Your Goals

You’ll also want to define what you want to accomplish by outsourcing. Are you looking for expertise? Are you trying to make your workload more manageable? Are you trying to save money? What you want to accomplish will determine which partner is the best fit.

The Best Way To Rebuild Your Credit

The Best Way To Rebuild Your Credit

If you want to get a loan for a car or house, or even just apply for a credit card, then you need a good credit score. However, if you’ve defaulted on debt before, that number may be less than stellar. Fortunately, there are ways to rebuild your credit. In fact, by putting these five tips into practice, you can raise your score significantly.

1. Create Good Financial Habits

Good financial habits are the number one way to ensure that you’re not only rebuilding your credit score, but making wise decisions with your money. One good habit is staying on top of your accounts; make sure to look over every statement and check your balance before making purchases. You should also start saving to build up an emergency fund. This is typically equal to six months’ worth of expenses.

2. Work on Paying Down Debts

Whether you have credit cards or loans, there’s interest accumulating. The longer debts go unpaid, the more interest you’ll accumulate and the more you’ll end up spending in the long run. Figure out how much you have to pay toward each debt to chip away at the principal and eventually pay off the full amount. If your debt is overwhelming, you should look into debt consolidation so you’ll only be responsible for one monthly payment at one fixed rate.

3. Make Payments on Time

Making timely payments is crucial to rebuilding your credit, as late payments can be reported to credit bureaus. If you can’t make a payment in full, it’s essential that you contact the merchant or bank to let them know, as they may be able to extend the due date, change it or accept a partial payment. If you have difficulty remembering to make payments, you should consider setting up automatic payments or bill pay.

4. Don’t Take on New Debt

While you’re trying to pay off loans and credit cards, you shouldn’t apply for any other financing. Doing so can end up costing you more, as you’ll likely get high interest rates. You should especially avoid title loans and other financing of that ilk, as the interest rates are astronomical and the lenders’ practices may be predatory.

5. Check Your Score Regularly

You have the right to get your credit score, free of charge, once a year from each of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You should look over any marks in your history and ensure none are due to identity theft. If you do find identity theft, you can dispute the mark with the credit bureau.

Tips to Make Any Commercial Property Purchase Easier

Tips to Make Any Commercial Property Purchase Easier

Purchasing commercial real estate can be a smart and lucrative investment. However, if you are new to this purchase, it is important to understand that buying commercial property is very different from buying a residential property.

Before purchasing commercial real estate, it is important to learn a few things about the process, including the benefits and potential issues you may face. When you are informed, you can decide if you want to move forward with the purchase.

Determine Why You Want to Purchase Commercial Property

What is your motivation for buying commercial real estate? Finding the answer to this is essential before moving forward with any type of real estate purchase.

Do you want an office building or apartment you can rent? Or do you want a property you can use for your own business? Are you just looking for a property to receive tax benefits or to scale your investment portfolio? Consider all this carefully before moving forward. Determining your “why” will help you find the right investment opportunity.

Get to Know Your Investment Options

You need to understand the different types of commercial properties before investing. Some options include warehouses, apartment buildings, malls, retail buildings, office buildings, mixed-use buildings, and industrial buildings. All these commercial properties are used for some type of business.

Acquire Financing 

Before finding the commercial property you want to purchase, you need to find financing options. The first step in securing financing for a commercial real estate purchase is to check your credit score.

The lender you choose may pull your business and personal credit scores, so it is good to find out what these look like before applying. Once you know everything on your credit report is accurate, consider what type of financing you may qualify for right now. Some options include seller financing, hard money loans, business loans, and commercial real estate loans. Make sure you compare the repayment terms, fees, and interest rates when shopping for the right financing option.

Investing in Commercial Real Estate

As you can see, there are many things to consider as you get ready to invest in commercial real estate. Be sure to take your time, find the right property, and the right loan for your needs. While commercial real estate investments can be extremely lucrative, you have to take your time and find the right property and the right deal to see the offered benefits.

How Knowing Tax Breaks Helps Minority-Owned Businesses

How Knowing Tax Breaks Helps Minority-Owned Businesses

If you are a minority and you own a business, then your business is considered to be a minority-owned business. There is a designation to this for several reasons that relate to taxes. For example, if someone wants to make in indirect investment in your business, they can receive credit for that investment on their income taxes because it’s considered community development.

While others may benefit from doing business with your business, are there any benefits for you? It depends.

Economically Distressed Locations

To qualify for a tax credit for locating your business in a distressed area, your minority-owned business must first be qualified. These distressed areas are known as empowerment zones, because you are empowering the people that live there.

For employing people in these zones, you’ll get a credit of $3,000 per employee. You can also write off up to $35,000 in equipment expenses.

Indian Reservations

Hiring people who live on or near a reservation can put a little extra money in your pocket. For each person you hire, you get a tax credit of 20 percent of their qualified wages up to the first $20,000. You also get accelerated depreciation on your equipment and other property if it is considered to be reservation property.

DC Enterprise Zone

Like operating a business in an empowerment zone, if you operate a business in a DC enterprise zone you’ll receive a credit for each employee hired in that zone, plus get equipment write offs.

New Markets Credit

This is the credit discussed earlier. When an investor makes an indirect investment in a minority-owned business, it is also beneficial to the minority-owned business. After all, an investment is money coming in. These funds make the small business stronger.

These tax credits drive business to minority-led businesses that might have otherwise been overlooked. By creating jobs in distressed communities and investing funds in minority-led businesses, these businesses become stronger and the people who associate with these businesses gain financial stability.

It’s long been known that poverty is rampant on Indian reservations. By promoting tax credits for hiring Native American workers, it gives this group of people who are typically disadvantaged a chance at success.

Whether you are a minority business owner or not, each of these tax breaks has something to offer to help your business succeed. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. The next time you’re considering opening a new business, find out the latest locations HUD has designated to be distressed. Everyone involved will benefit.

Equipment Leasing Tips for New Businesses

Equipment Leasing Tips for New Businesses

Starting a new business from scratch is challenging. When you consider the financial factors that impact your ability to keep the doors open, things get even more complicated. You may wonder what you can do to help make these first few months easier.

While each business is unique and has specific requirements, there is one thing for sure – you need the necessary tools and equipment. If you don’t have the capital to purchase these items outright, a smart option is equipment leasing. Keep reading to learn more about equipment leasing and how to use this option for your business.

Gather Your Financial Information

Before looking into equipment financing options, be sure you have all your financial information gathered and organized. You never want to approach a provider and not be prepared. This may be a bad sign to an equipment lessor, and they may believe your business is unprepared, which could cause them to deny your application for equipment financing.

Accept the Subpar Lease Rates (in the Beginning) 

You aren’t going to receive the best deals right away. As a new business, you are still considered “risky.” After all, many businesses close their doors within the first two years of opening.

Your current business financials, along with your personal financials (in some cases), will impact the rates you get. Just remember, as you pay your bills and grow a reputation with the leasing company, your rates will probably improve.

Find the Right Equipment Leasing Company

You should never sign a contract until you get to know all the leasing companies in your area. Once you have compared all the options, you should choose the one with the best reputation, which will serve as a long-term partner for your business. This doesn’t always mean the company that offers the lowest rates.

Avoid Application Fees

You should avoid any company that requires an “application fee.” While this is easy to overlook, it is also completely unnecessary. You should never pay to apply. Your application may be turned down, and you are still out of this application fee.

Getting the Right Equipment Leasing Offer

If you need equipment leasing, there are a lot of things to consider. Keep the information here in mind to find the right offer and to get the equipment your business needs to operate and keep the doors open. Being informed is the best way to ensure your business is successful.