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What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today #credit #repair #business

#financial markets today


What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today

By Anne Kates Smith | October 2010

Thanks to electronic trading, the stock market is wilder than ever.

Editor’s Note: We are re-featuring this guide to understanding the markets in light of the announcement on February 15 that the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has agreed to merge with Deutsche Boerse. The merger would create the world’s largest operator of financial markets. Deutsche Boerse shareholders would own 60% of the merged company; NYSE Euronext shareholders, 40%. The text below has been updated since publication in the October 2010 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the data is as of February 16, 2011.

1. There’s no “there” there. You may picture a bustling exchange, where commerce begins and ends with the clang of a bell. But the “stock market” is an increasingly fragmented collection of more than 50 trading platforms, almost all electronic, with various protocols, rules and oversight.

2. The Big Board has shrunk. Images of the New York Stock Exchange still dominate business-news broadcasts. But, in fact, just 34% of the trading volume in stocks listed on the NYSE actually occurs on the exchange, down from 79% in 2005. Nasdaq, the first electronic exchange, accounts for about one-fifth of all U.S. stock trading. Newer exchanges, such as Direct Edge, in Jersey City, N.J. and BATS Exchange, in Kansas City, Mo. each account for about 10% of trading volume. About 30% of U.S. trading volume takes place off exchanges.


3. ECNs are the new matchmakers. Electronic communication networks match up buy and sell orders at specified prices for institutional investors and brokers. This is where “after-hours” trading occurs. In addition, hundreds of broker-dealers execute trades internally, filling orders out of their own inventory.

4. Some trades are shrouded in mystery. You’ve heard of dark stars. Now there are dark pools — private networks, sponsored by securities firms, where professionals trade without displaying price quotes to the public beforehand. Such dark pools account for more than 10% of stock-trading volume. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make dark pools more transparent to avoid a two-tier market that denies the public important pricing information.

5. You’re sure to get the best price — most days. According to an SEC rule, your trade is supposed to be routed to the platform with the best price at that moment. But when some venues aren’t functioning as normal, exchanges may override the rule. The rule didn’t apply during the “flash crash” of May 2010, when an intentional slowdown on the NYSE caused orders to be routed elsewhere, at lower prices.

6. There are fewer traffic cops. In the old days, specialists and market makers kept markets liquid by stepping up to buy — or sell — when a stampede of investors headed the other way. Now, not all exchanges require market makers. High-frequency traders, who program computers to profit from minute price discrepancies and can execute trades in milliseconds, were supposed to fill the void. But they don’t have to, despite the fact that they often account for 50% or more of total trading volume.

7. Stoplights are coming. A pilot plan, recently extended until April, calls for stock-by-stock circuit breakers that would be applicable across all trading platforms. The plan currently applies to stocks in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the Russell 1000 index and certain exchange-traded funds, and calls for a trading pause if the share price changes by 10% within a five-minute period. Since December, market makers in exchange-listed securities have been required to maintain continuous buy and sell quotes within a certain range of a security’s most recent share price, putting an end to occasionally ridiculous quotes, far removed from prevailing prices, that were never meant to be executed.

Better Business Bureau: Trump Lied About Our Ratings #free #business #templates

#better business bureau


Better Business Bureau: Trump Lied About Our Ratings

The Council of Better Business Bureaus is calling out Donald Trump for what appears to have been a brazen effort to mislead the Fox News hosts who moderated last week’s Republican presidential debate, as well as the millions of Americans who tuned in to watch last Thursday night.

During the debate, the moderators and Trump’s opponent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, brought up the subject of Trump University, a now-defunct business that Trump established to sell supposedly educational courses and seminars on entrepreneurship. Trump University is currently being sued for fraud by numerous former students, who said that they were pressured to take on debt to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in fees and that the company did not deliver the type of educational experience it promised.

Related: Trump Numbers Are Falling – How Far Can They Go?

On stage last week, Trump angrily challenged criticism of Trump University, insisting that the organization had a “98 percent” approval rating among its students.

But it was when Rubio brought up the company’s D- grade from the Better Business Bureau that Trump really started to get creative.

He conceded that at one point the company did have a D- rating from the Better Business Bureau, but he said the rating was poor only because Trump University hadn’t bothered to submit data to the BBB. He insisted that the grade was subsequently “elevated to an A” once the data was supplied.

“The only reason that is was a D was because we didn’t care — we didn’t give them the information. ” Trump said. “When they got the information it became an A.”

Related: Here’s Why Donald Trump’s Lies May Be Good for U.S. Politics

During a commercial break, Trump was given a fax from his staff, which he handed to Fox moderator Bret Baier. He later posted the document on Facebook. It appeared to be a BBB Business Review giving Trump University (actually, Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, after a 2011 name change) an A grade.

At least one news organization reported, at the time, that the document appeared to have been faxed to the Fox News set by the BBB itself.

On Tuesday, the Council of Better Business Bureaus issued a detailed statement setting the record straight.

“BBB did not send a document of any kind to the Republican debate site last Thursday evening,” it read. “The document presented to debate moderators did not come from BBB that night.”

It continued, “Trump University does not currently have an A rating with BBB. The BBB Business Review for this company has continually been “No Rating” since September 2015. Prior to that, it fluctuated between D- and A+. The document posted on social media on Thursday night was not a current BBB Business Review of Trump University. It appeared to be part of a Business Review from 2014.”

Related: Irony Alert: Trump Is Upset that Ted Cruz Is Lying

More damning, though, was the BBB’s account of how Trump University’s rating went from a D- to an A. The BBB said that, despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, the rating was never increased as a result of new information received from the company.

What happened is that as Trump University failed as a business, it stopped attracting new students, and with no new students, there were no more complaints filed to the BBB.

“During the period when Trump University appeared to be active in the marketplace, BBB received multiple customer complaints about this business,” the statement said. “These complaints affected the Trump University BBB rating, which was as low as D- in 2010. As the company appeared to be winding down, after 2013, no new complaints were reported.

“Complaints over three years old automatically rolled off of the Business Review, according to BBB policy. As a result, over time, Trump University’s BBB rating went to an A in July 2014 and then to an A+ in January 2015.”

Related: Trump’s Net Worth Isn’t His Only Claim That’s Fake

In other words, Trump was lying about Trump University’s rating on national television, and even provided misleading documentary evidence in real time to help him make his case.

In a sane campaign season, this sort of thing would be utterly disqualifying, but whether it will have much effect on Trump’s core support is doubtful. The billionaire’s supporters have proven remarkably immune to factual arguments about Trump’s obvious deficiencies as a candidate, and uninterested in proof that he frequently lies to them .

SBS – About SBS #business #finance #loan

#small business services


The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Helping Businesses Form and Grow

NYC Business Solutions is a suite of services that help businesses start, operate and expand in New York City. Regardless of the size or stage of a business, NYC Business Solutions can help meet the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. NYC Business Solutions services can be accessed at NYC Business Solutions Centers located in the five boroughs. Services include:

Business Planning to help businesses develop appropriate strategies to reach their business goals

Business Courses to teach businesses business planning, computer-based bookkeeping, and marketing skills

Financing to help businesses identify lenders, package loan applications, and increase their chances of receiving loans

Legal Review of Contracts and Leases with a network of lawyers offering pro-bono services

Hiring to provide businesses access to a ready pool of screened job candidates

Training Funds to improve the skills of entry-level employees while increasing the profitability of businesses

Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise Certification to help businesses become certified and access assistance related to bidding and procurement opportunities and to technical support through SBS Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity.

Navigating Government to help businesses understand regulations and meet requirements

Incentives to save businesses money as they relocate, expand or make capital improvements

NYC Business Acceleration helps businesses open or expand more easily and faster, operate more smoothly, and recover from disasters. Business Acceleration provides a variety of services to help businesses navigate government rules and regulations, permits, licensing, and inspections. Services include free one-on-one client management, plan reviews, consultations with inspectors, and inspections from City agencies including Buildings, Fire, Health and Mental Hygiene and Environmental Protection.

Connecting New Yorkers to Jobs and Training

SBS runs New York City s workforce development programs, which connect employers to a skilled workforce and provide training and placement services to the City s adult workforce. Workforce1 Career Centers are located throughout the five boroughs and provide the City’s jobseekers with a full array of employment services including career advisement, job search counseling, skills training, and job placement. SBS operates these centers in coordination with the New York State Department of Labor and the City University of New York, combining the expertise of many different organizations to provide a seamless network of employment services and business development resources.

Investing in New York City s Commercial Districts

SBS oversees and supports New York City’s network of 72 Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) – the most comprehensive system of its kind in the country. BIDs are locally based organizations that keep their commercial districts clean and safe, market those districts to consumers, visitors and new businesses, and invest in capital improvements to open opportunities for other economic development initiatives to succeed. Collectively, New York City s BIDs contribute $80 million in supplemental services to more than 64,000 businesses.

SBS runs Avenue NYC. a public/private partnership to build thriving neighborhood business districts throughout New York City. SBS works with local partners to make seed investments in maintenance, capital improvements, business recruitment, real estate development and marketing, which attract additional private investment and encourage business growth. Avenue NYC is currently working in more than 100 neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

Promoting Opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

NYC Business Solutions is committed to encouraging a competitive and diverse New York City business environment. NYC Business Solutions Certification and Access supports local and historically underserved small businesses by certifying Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise, Locally-Based Enterprise, and Emerging Business Enterprise and working to ensure their access to New York City contract opportunities. SBS also provides a host of free services to help certified firms grow, including educational seminars, business counseling, networking events, access to bonding, and capital and bidding assistance.

Everything You Need to Know about Minority Business Grants – Small Business

#minority business grants


Everything You Need to Know about Minority Business Grants

Minorities are choosing entrepreneurship in leaps and bounds. The pool of minority-owned business includes members of the African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American ethnic groups. According to the SBA, this number rose to 14.6 percent in 2012 in part because of the growing Hispanic population in the U.S.

As with their non-minority counterparts, proper access to funding is crucial for the creation, growth, and sustainability of their businesses. Although minority business ownership is growing, there continues to be great disparities in their access to business funding. In their effort to even the playing field, minority business owners continue to search for various funding resources.

Grants for Minority Business

Federal Grants

As part of their quest for funding, the first choice for minority business owners is to seek out grants. The belief that there are federal grants available for the start up and growth phases for small businesses is a myth. The federal government does not provide grants to businesses for start up, expansion, to cover operational expenses, or to pay off debts. However there are federal grants available in the areas of research in the fields of medicine, scientific research, education, and technology development. Here are a few such grants.

  1. Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) – This grant is for the purpose of funding small business projects that are research related. Research areas include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). See a full list of program descriptions and research topics allowed on their site.
  2. The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) Program – The purpose of this grant is to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The amount of the award ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.

You can search additional federal grants at grants.gov .

Corporate Grants

We have included a list of some grants available to black and minority owned businesses.

  1. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest The FedEx Small Business Grant awards 10 different grants to small business owners in the following amounts: (1) grand prize grant of $25,000, (1) grant of $10,000, and (8) grants of $5,000. Deadline is January 12, 2015. To enter, the applicants must share their business story including their motivation and plans for growth. Winners will be announced April 21, 2015.
  2. The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grant Program This grant allows business owners to apply for financing for a particular business need. Each grant is worth up to $5,000. To apply visit nase.org, create an account, become a member, and click on the link apply today. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis.
  3. MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series – This grant supports urban entrepreneurs by awarding up to $150,000 in business grants to five entrepreneurs annually.
  4. Huggies MomInspired Grant Program – Grant proposals are accepted from businesses that nurture the relationship between mother and child either through a product or service. The amount of the award is $15,000 plus additional business resources for further development.

Organizations that Provide Minority Business Grants

The Role of the SBA

While the SBA has the authority to provide grants to certain non-profit and educational organizations, it is not permitted to provide grants to small businesses, including minority owned businesses. However, minority business owners can take advantage of the SBA (8) a Business Development Program. The program assists qualifying minority-owned businesses develop and growth through one on one counseling, training workshops, management, and technical assistance.

The 8(a) program has been designed for some minority groups that are considered socially and economically disadvantaged. Those groups include: African American, Hispanic American, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. A business must be at least 51% owned by a minority of the group listed. Other groups can apply for this program if they can prove that they have been discriminated against or are at an economic disadvantage. Those groups include: Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Community Development Corporations.

To learn more about this program contact the local SBA office in your area.

The Minority Business Development Agency

Another great resource for minority business owners is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). MBDA maintains a national network of 44 business centers whose purpose is to assist minority businesses with access to capital, contracts, and new markets. The specialists that work at the business centers can assist with the grant application.

Minority Business Grants: The Process

Applying for a grant is not a quick process. First the application can be more than a few pages and it is normally a detailed application. Most grants have an opening date, which is the date when the grant became available for application. The deadline date is the final date you must submit your grant by. Keep in mind that the decision may take a few months.

Additional Grant Preparation Tips

  • Create a business plan – Writing a business plan is an important step. The business plan will act as the roadmap for your business. Be sure to provide specific information in the plan about your minority business and how it will improve the economy and your community.
  • Read through grant information thoroughly Once you have decided which grant you will apply for, make sure that you read through all of the information. This will ensure that you have all of your ducks in a row. Most grant synopsis’ are detailed and require a lot of specific information.
  • Keep track of the application deadline – Obviously it is important that you do not miss the deadline. So be sure to apply for the grant before the deadline. A good idea would be to create a project checklist which includes dates and milestones. It’s a good idea to submit the grant before the deadline approaches.
  • Gather all of your documents – Make sure you gather all of the documents required for the grant. Prepare a checklist, check, and double check. You do not want to have any missing documents that may cause the grant to be denied.

About – Small Business Trends #business #solutions

#small business



Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them.

Small Business Trends is the premier source of information, breaking news and advice covering issues of key importance to small businesses. Along with the regular editorial staff, the site has 400+ vetted experts who volunteer their knowledge, insights, successes and failures. It is one of the most popular and highly-trafficked independent destinations on the Web exclusively focused on small businesses.

Mission Statement: Small business success delivered daily.

The Small Business Trends website appears on countless Top and Best of lists of small business resources. The company also operates:

  • BizSugar This social sharing site points you to the finest and most interesting content shared by the small business community at large a one-stop shop for great reading. Over 1 million registered members. The BizSugar Top 10 newsletter is eagerly anticipated each Friday. Acquired in 2009.
  • Tweak Your Biz A group business site with an international flair.

Small Business Trends also is the producer of two awards that recognize and support distinct interest segments of the small business market:

  • Small Business Book Awards Recognizes the efforts of entrepreneur-authors and is a resource for small-business book lovers. Business books are an important source of learning for business owners who may not have the time or budget for conferences. Since 2009.
  • Small Business Influencer Awards Recognizes the unsung heroes of small businesses: the experts, consultants, professional services providers, vendors, journalists and others that serve and influence the small business market. Since 2011.

Small Business Trends LLC is a woman-owned small business. It was founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell, and is headquartered near Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Content is syndicated through Newstex and other sites around the Web. Small Business Trends currently reaches over 6,000,000 readers annually, via direct visits, RSS feeds (120,000+ subscribers), newsletters and social feeds (200,000+), and syndication.

The name Small Business Trends is a registered trademark of Small Business Trends LLC.

Small Business Trends is committed to reporting fairly. Our writers and editors may not write about people or entities with which they have financial interests, without disclosure. Our coverage is not influenced by advertisers.

Advertising is handled by our advertising department and is kept separate from the editorial department. Advertising and Sponsored Content is clearly identified as such.

Editorial review policy: We do not accept payment for reviewing books or products, or pointing them out as resources. Our book reviewers may, however, receive review copies of books (a customary practice in the publishing industry). For software product reviews, our reviewers typically use free accounts, demo accounts or temporary review accounts. For hardware reviews, we typically use temporary product loans provided for media review purposes, or a product previously owned by the reviewer.

A former corporate attorney and General Counsel, she went on to become the CEO of a technology subsidiary of Bell Howell. Happily running her own business for the last decade, she founded Small Business Trends while looking for a simple way to publish newsletter articles. The site quickly grew, and other sites focusing on the small business market were acquired along the way.

Anita has served on numerous Boards, including the Board of NEOSA (the technology network of COSE, Council of Smaller Enterprises); the Center for eBusiness and Information Technology at the University of Akron College of Business; and NorTech. She has a B.A. degree from Duquesne University and a J.D. degree from the University of Akron School of Law. She completed an executive education program at the University of Michigan Business School.

Anita s focus today is on growing the online publishing business. But she also maintains active commentary on small business issues on various media and Web properties. Read more about founder Anita Campbell .

Staci is the Chief Operations Officer of Small Business Trends. She is responsible for oversight of the day-to-day operations of the Small Business Trends network, the commissioning and scheduling of site content on Small Business Trends. relations with Small Business Trends Experts, creation of custom content, relations with syndication partners, marketing, staff oversight, staffing requirements and quality assurance.

She was also the Producer of the former Small Business Trends Radio Show. a podcasted radio show featuring interviews with small business experts across various industries where she was responsible for guest scheduling, scouting and show content.

After being a 20-year member of the rat race, Staci traded in her office, opted out – and joined the virtual world and the Small Business Trends community. Staci is a graduate of the Bradford School of Business and currently resides and works in Pennsylvania. She was the first person to come on board at Small Business Trends. after the Founder, in 2006.

Leland is the Chief Technology Officer at Small Business Trends. He is responsible for all technical aspects of the Small Business Trends network of websites. Leland is responsible for programming, design and maintenance of the sites, as well as server administration. He has performed work for Small Business Trends since 2010.

Leland has a long-standing passion for website development. While in high school, he created the website for the local elementary school, and in college he was responsible for maintaining the student government website.

Leland currently resides and works in Oregon. He attended Blue Mountain Community College, earning an Associate of Science Degree in Computers and Mathematics. He received his Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Oregon State University.

Tamar focuses on business development, content strategy, and advertising sales.

She is the author of The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web and has worked for Mashable, Gawker Media, Search Engine Roundtable, and Real Simple Magazine, among others.

Shawn focuses on small business news coverage, other editorial content, and working with Small Business Trends growing community of correspondents and contributors.

Before coming to Small Business Trends, Shawn spent more than a decade in the traditional newspaper business in various positions from beat reporter to bureau chief and managing editor. He has also served as the community manager for BizSugar.com and as Community Editor at AllAnalytics.com, a UBM Tech site.

Amanda Stillwagon is in the marketing department for Small Business Trends. Amanda oversees online marketing, email marketing, newsletter creation and social media marketing for the Small Business Trends group of sites.

Amanda formerly served as Editor of Small Business CEO, where she was responsible for editing, content, site management and the oversight of guest contributors.

Amanda had her own candle making business, and was also the former office manager of a veterinary office. She joined Small Business Trends in 2008.

17 Hard Truths About Owning A Business #small #business #websites

#owning your own business


17 Hard Truths About Owning A Business

Columnist, American Express OPEN

Ever feel stuck? Erika Napoletano gets restless brands and the people brave enough to lead them UNstuck, shortening the distance between where they are and heck yeah. Business columnist, award-winning author, TEDx talker, nerd in a dress.

The reasons that anyone decides to venture down the path of business ownership vary. Maybe it’s the allure of setting our own hours. The chance to call fuzzy slippers and pajama pants “work clothes.” The opportunity to do business the way it should be done.

But for all of us, there’s one inarguable reason: the chance to finally put energy into building our dream instead of someone else’s.

With the decision to launch a business, however, come some pretty startling realities. Maybe some of these will be familiar. Others you might have just stumbled onto for the first time. They’re all, however, hefty reminders that this thing we do—owning and running a small business—is anything but easy.

It’s worth it—but definitely not easy.

1.Your target customer isn’t “everyone.” Not even Walmart has something for everyone. And sure—it’s easy to think that your product or service has widespread appeal (who wouldn’t want what you have to offer, right?). Skip the selling and attempts to convert. Find the people who will love what you do (and all the things you don’t do). Preach to the converted and they’ll share your brand with more people just like them.

2.What you do isn’t special. There are roughly a gazillion other people in this world who do what you do. What you do isn’t the magic. The real magic comes from a combination of why you do it, for whom you do it, and how you do it. What + Who + Why + How = Awesome.

3. Value lasts. Cheap is fleeting. Let me ask: How many “things” have you replaced since starting your business? Odds are, they’re the things you scrimped on in the name of “now.” Remind yourself of that the next time you’re tempted by a cheap solution and go for value—what’s best, what will last, and what’s best for your business and customers. Cheap and a great value sometimes happens, but it’s rare.

4. The customer isn’t always right. They’re not. Period. You can’t make a living without your customers, though. So where’s the middle ground when someone is unhappy, but definitely wrong? First, listen. Second, weigh the options—does it make sense to give a bit in exchange for appeasing someone who’s having a bad day? Finally, stick to your principles. Some people will just never be happy and are looking for a reason to complain. If we built our business around the complainers, we’d be broke in no time.

5. Trade sucks when you don’t treat it like a business transaction. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember to treat every trade agreement like a business transaction. Have a contract. Establish deliverables. Establish a value. Establish a deadline. If you don’t, someone’s always going to come out “feeling slighted.” Just because there’s no money changing hands doesn’t mean business isn’t being done.

6. Your business bank account isn’t a piggy bank. Get a CPA and a bookkeeper. Everything you buy once you start a business isn’t a business expense (shall we ask the IRS?). The day I was able to look at my business and run a real profit and loss (P L) statement was one of the happiest days of my life. The next happiest moment was knowing that I was actually profitable. You can’t fix your business finances if you don’t know what’s going on behind the banking curtain.

7. Tech won’t fix a crappy business model. I don’t care how many devices you have or if you’re using Silicon Valley’s latest and greatest app. Tech is a tool, nothing more. Upgrading your computer won’t make your business run better. When something’s not working, ask what’s not working with the business model.

8. You can’t do everything. You’re awesome. You’re talented. You’re motivated and the reason this whole business thing gets done each day. But you can’t do everything. And like me, I know you’ve tried. We’re small-business owners, a brand of superheroes of our own class. But when you do everything for so long, you’re bound to break.

9. You’re going to have to learn to outsource. Finding people you trust to help you run your business is paramount. And since you can’t do everything (and certainly don’t enjoy doing everything), find people who are great at and love doing all those things you loathe. We can’t all afford it when first starting out, but remind yourself that there are people to help you lighten the load and run leaner and meaner than you’ve ever run.

10.You are not the most important asset in your business. Shocking, right? You open the doors and foot the bills, but none of that happens without your customers’ permission. Your customers are, and always will be, the most important asset your business will ever have. Period.

11. Listening is the best business skill you’ll ever acquire. To your customers. To your employees. To your community and industry colleagues. If we listened half as much as we spoke, blogged, tweeted or Facebooked, I can only imagine where each of our businesses would be. Try counting to five before you chime in the next time someone shares a thought with you. And try listening when no one thinks you’re listening.

12.Infrastructure—it’s what’s for breakfast. Growth is the goal, right? More revenue, more sales, bigger and better customers. But what happens when the volume we crave comes along and we haven’t built a business that can support it? When making decisions to scale, always ask, “Do we have the infrastructure to support this move, and if not, how can we create it?” Less full speed ahead and more full attention to the most important business meal of the day—it will fuel and support everything you do as the day (and years) go on.

13.You need a great team. You can’t do everything alone. Find people who are committed to building your dream and vision. Some of your greatest ideas will come from people with the gift of being on the outside of your head looking in. This makes having an amazing, motivated team all the more important.

14.Don’t hire people you’d never empower. Again, since you can’t do everything, you need people on your team whom you trust to act in the best interests of your business. Hire wisely and invest in training and mentoring. Great employees all start off good, but they’ll need your guidance along the way. Don’t hire anyone whom you don’t feel you could ultimately trust to act in your business’s best interest.

15.There are no overnight successes. If you hear otherwise, it’s a lie—a damn lie. Success comes from an artful combination of humility, tenacity, failure, and opportunity. None of those things happen overnight—despite what some may say.

16.Don’t think like a business owner—think like a customer. Not much explanation required here. The greatest successes I’ve seen come from businesses that anticipate customer needs and meet them in delightful and unexpected ways.

17.You are your most important client every day. You know the story about the cobbler’s children and how they have no shoes? Well, that’s no way to run a business. Set time in your calendar every day to work on your business.You are your first client every day. Put it on a sticky note. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Say it out loud. Repeat.

What’s your one hard truth you’ve learned as a business owner? Share with the community in the comments below.

Photo: Getty Images

A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy” – Red Hot



A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

I have a request that will help you and your fellow business owners….

Stop asking people if they are busy to see how they are.

We ask people this as if them responding with a “yes” is a good thing?

I don t know anyone who truly wants to feel busy. “Busy” normally goes along with feeling over-worked, tired and stressed out, it usually means not being relaxed and surviving on adrenaline. I don’t know anyone that really enjoys those feelings on an ongoing basis (and I certainly don’t like it either).

I do like to feel challenged though. I do like to feel that I m in demand. I do like to feel that I have a good flow of business to keep me profitable. I like to feel that I’ve got things under control and be relaxed about it (even when I’m working hard).

To me, Busy is a dirty four letter word. We are trained from an early age that busy is a great definition of success Because if we re busy then we must be successful, right? It s not true though. Busy is NOT a sign of success. Busy might mean that we have a lot of clients or work on, but it’s very easy to be busy yet not be profitable. And it s easy to be busy and profitable and still not be happy!

In my observation from coaching hundreds of business owners most are too busy. Their business runs them. So a better question might be How s business? or How s everything working out?” Let’s break the curse of ‘busy being a good thing in business.

How to Talk About Money in Your Family Business – Family Business

#family business


How to Talk About Money in Your Family Business

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt – until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

Talking about money within the family business can be uncomfortable and awkward. What’s worse is that everyone knows about it; financial questions and concerns can be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Few habits are so critical and yet translate so directly to the success of your family business. David Harland. Managing Director of FINH

It is up to the family business leaders to engage their family in these conversations, and to do so with honesty and directly. The early rounds might be difficult, but the end result is a better work environment and easier conversations about other complex issues (such as remuneration or financial agreements). Start early so that you can establish a precedent, make clear the expectations, and deal fairly with others.

Begin with a trusted family advisor – someone to help facilitate difficult conversations – who can project an image of fairness, conscientiousness, and experience.

We often feel that our loved ones know us so well that we don’t have to voice concerns or bring in a third party. It’s the role of the business leader to let go of these assumptions and find a real solution. Communication needs to be clear and open, and this is best when the conversation includes an element of impartiality and specialized knowledge.

It’s unfortunate that so many family businesses start out with an informal management structure and don’t have specific practices and policies for family members. Instead, the structure of the family business is often made up as it goes, which can create an impediment to honest communication later on.

Topics of Conversation Between Members of the Family Business

The family conversation should have goals and should be prepared for, just like any meeting with a non-family business partnerThat also includes having a formal agenda. It’s common to have three levels of interest at play: business issues, family issues, and ownership.

So what you should talk about? Start with family’s history, legacy, and values. The younger a member of the family is introduced to this message, the better. I recommend placing extra emphasis on a multigenerational approach to human capital appreciation.

Chances are that your family has a mix of dominant thinkers and dominant feelers. The thinkers might be more open to the practical realities of business success. Feelers will appreciate the sense of togetherness, shared accomplishment, and appreciation among members of the group. Guide the topics of conversations into those areas where you’re most likely to get buy-in from individual members; other issues can be dealt with more easily afterwards.

Emotion Will Be Part Of It; Deal With Emotion Early

“Select your words carefully. Spoken words may have positive or negative effects, depending on the manner and timing of your speech.” Abdurrahman Bagdadizade Paksoy to his sons, addressing how the Paksoy family was shut out of its own business in 1956

Every business requires emotional decisions and every family brings emotionally charged relationships. These two don’t always mix nicely.

Emotion is a real dynamic that isn’t going away, but it can be dealt with effectively and even harnessed to create a positive dialogue. Use family councils to address family matters. Even if your family members share the same values, they may not share the same vision. If your family runs the risk of starting new battles every time an old one is closed, it’s best to start with outside facilitation early on and stick with it through to the end.

Create a sense of family unity with family stories. Make sure that younger generations can connect to the trials, successes, and anecdotes of the past. Let them speak and take care to actually listen. If less experienced members of the family are eager to bring a “fresh perspective” or innovative new ideas, this is the forum where they get their chance.

Tell a cautionary tale about past business episodes – especially if it has a personal impact. Not only will this help synergize the emotion in the room, but it will help emphasise the importance of properly addressed financial agreements. Just try not to get side-tracked in story land; it’s up to the business leaders to maintain focus on the long-term goal of multi-generational capital accumulation.

Always remember that money is a sensitive issue for many people. You’re likely to run into topics like fairness and competitiveness. These are important, but ultimately dangerous if mishandled because they can re-open old wounds or divert the conversation. Have a plan in place to stay on target.

There’s never a perfect time to talk about family business issues, with one exception: earlier is better. The sooner these conversations start happening, the sooner your family business can develop the type of effective communication that will stand the test of time.

For Advice on communicating about finance in your family business please call FINH 07 3229 7333

8 Things You Need to Know About Small Business Loans #business #directory

#small business loans


Small businesses may be the engine of our economy, but many small business owners view the lending process as complicated and frustrating.

Too often, growing enterprises find themselves shut out when they attempt to obtain small business loans. In theory, it should be difficult to obtain funding–lenders are in the business of making money, not providing charity. Still, there are many ways to improve your odds of getting a loan .

Here are some things to consider.

  1. Put yourself in the lender’s shoes–why should they lend you money? When applying for a loan, treat it as if you’re applying for a job. Instead of a great resume, however, you need a stellar application. That means understanding your financial situation and deciding what you can use for collateral, which might include your house. A business person who does the latter shows they believe in their business. Cash flow and credit quality are other key factors. And dress professionally; if you look like you don’t need the money, you’re more likely to get it.
  2. Figure out how much money you really need. Businesses too often seek more money than they really need and, the more you seek, the more likely you will be rejected.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. If one lender rejects you, figure out why. When you go to the next small business lender, address that deficiency.
  4. Those with poor credit in a business-to-business environment that have receivables can use them as collateral. Alternative lenders, such as so-called Internet lenders, will charge higher interest rates, but generally have more relaxed standards.
  5. Always consider–in most cases it should be your first consideration–working with Small Business Administration-backed (SBA) lenders. Many businesses incorrectly assume they aren’t eligible. SBA loans often feature low interest rates and generous repayment terms. Also note that just because one SBA lender turns you down, not all lenders will do likewise.
  6. Know what you’re getting into. That means learning the annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan. Know what the fees will be, as well as any prepayment penalties. Be an informed shopper.
  7. As mentioned earlier, online lenders may provide funding (and quickly) if other alternatives fail, especially for those with bad credit. Aside from higher interest rates, Internet lenders are known for onerous terms and poor transparency, so be sure you really need the money–and can pay it back–if you go this route.
  8. Small banks are likely to be more helpful than bigger banks that prefer working with larger customers.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Thinking About Starting #business #lending

#start business


Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The resources in this section will help you learn about what it takes to start a business.

What characteristics do you need to be an entrepreneur? What does it take to start and succeed in business?

Starting a business can be the most important decision you make in your life. Ask yourself these 20 questions to begin your preparation and planning.

These 10 steps can help you plan, prepare and launch your business.

To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and the economic conditions in your industry.

Get access to data and statistics on your competitors, industry and target customer groups.

One of the first decisions you will make is the type of business you will open. Before making your decision, explore the opportunities that are available like a home-based or online business.

When starting a business, advice from SBA partner organizations such as SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers can help you avoid common pitfalls.