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The 6 Best Apps For Small Business Teams

 

 

The modern age has brought all sorts of amazing new pieces of technology to the table to help small businesses to prosper. In order for you, as the owner, to stay on top of current trends, it can be helpful to take a look at what is currently popping up on the internet. There are some solid apps out there that can help you to run your business more efficiently. A quick look at some of these popular downloadable apps can help you to see which ones are best for the needs of your small business.

Conferencing is a big part of the world of business. When you need to hold meetings with individuals located in other cities, states or even countries, you need to have the right tools. Skype has consistently remained one of the top video conferencing apps for many years. Though there are alternatives, few offer the same level of quality as Skype.

Do you struggle with staying organized? If so, then you can do yourself a big service by finding an app that allows you to better manage your time and the ever-growing list of tasks you must accomplish. One of the more popular apps in this regard is Clear. It allows you to manage multiple lists that have to be conquered, while simultaneously offering you the chance to receive reminders so you can be on top of your business.

Another helpful app for time management is Rescue Time. This is a handy tool for those who fear that they are wasting too much time on social media or other distractions on the internet. Learn where you spend the most time and make the proper adjustments for productivity.

Expenses are always a struggle with […]

What CRE Investors Should Know About Stated Income Loans

 

Commercial Real Estate, or CRE, Investors get pretty creative when it comes to finding money for their next acquisition. Conventional loans are one of the go-to methods, but stated income loans are yet another way to get the financing for property purchases or refurbishing.

Stated income loans work by allowing the borrower to ‘state’ the amount of their income to the lender. This is usually a combined total of the income of the borrower and their businesses. The lender will then figure up the dollar amount they will finance for the borrower, with interest, of course. Some lenders will require lots of documentation, but others won’t. You might have to supply records of leases, year-to-date financials, rent rolls and personal financial statements.

A stated income loan is an alternative to a traditional commercial loan where the lender is generally more concerned with the real estate in question rather than the credit history of the borrower. The property income value must be enough to service the insurance, taxes and mortgage in order for this type of loan to be approved.

Depending on your credit rating, you might be able to get a loan without written verification of your income. Today, a large portion of mortgages are created with stated income loans. Due to the reduced amount of paperwork required, the lending process doesn’t take as long. While this isn’t a huge advantage, it could mean grabbing that deal before it’s off the table.

Especially helpful for borrowers who are self employed, stated income loans can provide funds when it’s hard to produce a pay stub or a W-2. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds. Stated income loans will often require a solid down payment, equity and a […]

The Beginner’s Guide to Business Tax Preparation

 

Opening a business requires more than coming up with a product or service, creating a website and promoting your new company via social media. There is much to learn, and one aspect of owning a business that many entrepreneurs neglect is proper tax preparation. While filing your company’s taxes may seem daunting, there are steps you can take from the beginning to ensure no important deductions are overlooked and to help you avoid tax errors that may prove costly later on.

Proper business tax preparation begins with understanding the basics and staying organized from the start. Keep your business and personal accounts separated and if you work from home, set up an office that is separate from your living space so that you can claim it as a business deduction. As your business grows, use software that allows you to enter and track expenses, profits and deductions automatically. It is important that you keep your records up to date and review them periodically so that you are not faced with an outdated mess when the time comes to file.

As you sit down to prepare your business taxes, keep in mind that not every expense for your business is deductible. For example, if you work from home and have a legitimate business space that you already claim on your taxes, you can deduct driving expenses from that location to any vendor, customer or location connected to your industry. However, if you work from an office where you share space with other small business owners, driving from your home to that location cannot be deducted. Be conservative about your deductions and check state and federal tax laws if you are confused about what you can deduct to […]

The Top 4 Retail Financing Options

 

 

As a retail store owner, you know the frustration of finding the right financing for your business needs. With the staggering variety of business financing choices, it’s important to know which ones are the best fit by acquiring a basic understanding of the top four retail financing options available: retail store inventory financing, cash advances for retail businesses, equipment leasing and financing and franchise loans.
Retail Store Inventory Financing
Without inventory, you have no way of generating income, but without income, you have no way of purchasing inventory. It sounds like a catch-22 situation; however, it doesn’t have to be one. Many retail business owners turn to revolving lines of credit to ensure their inventory needs. Revolving credit lines consist of lenders or suppliers providing a set amount of continuously available credit for an indeterminate time period. The credit is repaid periodically and the credit line is renewable after each repayment. The amount of credit assigned depends on your credit, revenue and cash flow.
Cash Advances for Retail Businesses
Another of the top four retail financing options is the cash advance. For businesses that do not qualify for small business lines of credit, this type of short-term loan is a good option. They are particularly beneficial when larger amounts of inventory are needed during times of increased customer traffic. Business and merchant cash advances come in two forms: Merchant cash advances and daily ACH loans. Merchant cash advances are based on a percentage of monthly credit card sales, while daily ACH loans are based on total sales. Payback amounts vary based on borrower risk.
Equipment Leasing and Financing
For many small businesses, the cost of operating equipment can be overwhelming; however, equipment financing offers several advantages that will help keep […]

The Pros and Cons of Working Capital Loans

 

 

Even if you have an incredibly successful business, you may occasionally find that you have difficulty paying for small expenses that come with running your business. These may include payroll, repair costs or the cost of inventory. The money needed for these kinds of expenses is called your working capital. When a business does not have enough working capital, it will often struggle to function properly. It is worth considering working capital loans if you ever find your business in this situation. There are many advantages and disadvantages to these kinds of loans and it is important to know about both.

Loans that are specifically designed for working capital are great for keeping you prepared for any small hiccups you may have financially. With these kinds of loans, you can breathe a bit easier knowing you can handle any surprise expenses. Additionally, because these loans are designed for short-term concerns, it does not require long-term repayment and lenders do not have many restrictions on how the money is used so long as it is for small expenses for your business. Lenders also understand a working capital loans are for immediate expenses. They are aware that businesses need this loan as quickly as possible and often the money is accessible to you approximately a week after you are approved.

Even though there are many advantages to financing your working capital with a loan, there are several disadvantages as well. As with any loan, it must be repaid. This may seem obvious, but it is worth noting that even if your business fails all lenders will still expect you to make your payments.  Furthermore, repeatedly taking out small loans can negatively affect your credit rating. Especially if you […]

By |March 16th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How Hard Money Loans Work

While most people know about traditional bank loans, such as mortgages, hard money loans are somewhat less familiar to the common investor. Traditionally, a hard money loan is used in commercial real estate or business acquisitions, however anyone may be eligible to apply for one. Before seeking a hard money loan, you will want to understand the nuances and risks associated with one. The following is some basic information you should know before applying for a hard money loan.

First of all, hard money loans are short term, which means they can be paid off in as little as thirty days with no pre-payment penalty. The simplest way to understand a hard money loan is to think of it as a cash advance for an investment opportunity. For example, if a property deal is being offered at a competitive rate but only if closed on within a month, then an investor will need access to funds immediately. A typical bank mortgage requires extensive underwriting, including appraisals and credit checks, which is a time consuming process. A hard money loan is based on the value of the collateral rather than the creditworthiness of the borrower; therefore, the loan can be issued without much delay. The tradeoff for timeliness, however, is high interest rates and fees. A wise investor should be able to pay off the loan quickly, knowing that the initial high interest rates will be made up in the investment return.

In order to protect the lender, a hard money loan often comes with a low loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. The LTV ratio is the amount of the loan divided by the total value of the asset. Thus, if a lender loans $900,000 toward a $1 million […]

By |February 1st, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Your Guide To Working Capital Loans

Working capital loans allow you to tap into the capital of your business. This type of loan is much different than your typical business loan. You should be clear on how they work and the details of the loan before you consider getting one.

How They Work

A working capital loan allows you to borrow the money you have in your business that isn’t readily available. This is money tied up in your assets or money owed to you through unpaid invoices minus your liabilities. A loan allows you to use this money now when you really need it. The loan is short term, meaning you will pay it back rather quickly. Ideally, you will use the money to help get your business back on track, so paying it back shouldn’t be too difficult.

Important Points

A working capital loan allows you a lot of freedom that you don’t get with a traditional business loan. When you apply for the loan, you don’t have to declare the purpose for the loan. It is assumed you will put it back in your business. You can use the money in any way you want, but generally you should still have a purpose in mind.

You should know that as a short term loan, the interest is often higher and the payments are also larger. It is important that you plan for the payback of the loan. Also, being short term, this loan isn’t designed to be used for investing in your business or buying large assets. It generally is designed to be used to pay for daily operation expenses, such as paying employee wages or buying supplies. It can also be used for unexpected expenses, like repairing broken equipment.

You may […]

By |January 4th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

How to Get CRE Financing

CRE Financing, or Commercial Real Estate Financing, are loans granted to prospective investors or owners who want to buy commercial property, such as office space or shopping malls. The loan amounts are larger than for private real estate loans and amortize over longer periods. Often, there is a large amount left at the end known as a “balloon” payment, and if it can’t be paid off, the owner usually refinances. It may be a challenge to get CRE financing if you are new to real estate investments or have a spotty credit history. However, even these are not insurmountable obstacles if you know how to proceed.

You should approach the bank with necessary documents showing your ability to pay off the loan and credit history. This includes tax returns and all income. It helps to approach a bank with whom you already have a positive relationship. If you have borrowed and paid back personal loans or mortgages with the bank, you may be a customer in good standing, and the specific bank may be more amenable to offering CRE Financing.

Make sure you have a plan for your property and can show the bank. A business plan detailing how the property will be used and how much rent you can expect to charge will give a clearer picture of the profitability of your project. Demonstrate why you feel there will be low vacancy rates and indicate that you will attract clients who are financially stable and can pay their rents. You may want to point to past successes in the same location. Also, show calculations of what you can expect to earn per month and per year.

If you have some spots on your personal credit history, […]

By |December 6th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Business Apps to Make You More Efficient

A recent increase in our dependency on smartphones has made them a lifeline to connectivity – even in the business world. As that becomes more and more the case, mobile applications have exploded into the marketplace. Some of these apps are great, some are good enough and others are a waste of time and money. There are a few factors to consider when contemplating a business app including cost, effectiveness at solving a business problem, ease of use and connection to outside resources. Here is a list of four great business apps that will make you more efficient, judged on those criteria.

 
Harvest

This application takes time keeping for projects and makes it simple, pretty and transparent. Every user can see who is working on which project, which is amazing for efficiency, while also saving all of this info so that timecards can be created with a snap of your fingers. It can also create invoices, accept payment and it connects with over 70 other business apps to keep ideas flowing. Harvest starts with a 30 day free trial and then charges monthly depending upon the size of your business.

TripIt

TripIt has two options, free and Pro. Both applications track every detail of your travel itinerary, but the Pro option takes all of the stress out of travel. It alerts you when the seat you want becomes available, when you’re eligible for a refund and when any changes happen with your flights. If you have a team who are traveling to different places you can also go for the TripIt for Teams option and allow everyone’s itineraries to be clearly displayed. Like many business apps, the monthly price varies depending upon the number of users, but […]

By |November 23rd, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

What Your Business Needs To Know About Bankruptcy

The very last thing you want to think about as a small business owner is the idea of insolvency. You didn’t start your business with the idea that you might have to fold. But sometimes bankruptcy might be just what you need to keep going, to start a new venture, or to protect the assets you still have. The three most common options for businesses are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.

One of the reasons for filing for bankruptcy is to stop collection proceedings and work out repayment arrangements, where possible. If you are a sole proprietor, you are not legally considered a separate entity from your business, and you will need to file as an individual. However, if you have set up a corporation or LLC, you will be able to file as a business and won’t be considered personally liable for any of the business debts.
Chapter 7
Filing for Chapter 7 is usually done by LLCs, corporations, and partnerships. In some cases, you may also file for Chapter 7 as a sole proprietor. In this type ofproceeding, a trustee is appointed to manage the sale of any remaining non-exempt assets to pay creditors. Not all of the property will be eligible for sale, for example, if it is under lien by other creditors.
Chapter 11
Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings can be complicated and are usually only entered into by larger companies who need to restructure but intend to stay in business. It can be very time-consuming, and even expensive. It’s also risky, as there are plenty of tax laws that need to be observed. There are some provisions for small businesses who wish to file Chapter 11, but it’s best to have a tax […]

By |October 26th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments