Small businesses often think that putting together an employee handbook is unnecessary and a waste of precious time that could be otherwise spent on more important matters. Everyone knows the company rules in a small business, so why bother with a whole formal write-up? In a certain sense, small business owners and employees who question the wisdom behind a write up are correct to do so. A write up for a very small company is unnecessary, and can actually become a liability if the information that it contains is misplaced or falls into the hands of a competitor. However, a manual for procedures, whether for individual departments or for the business at large, is important for when a business is ready to be scaled up, as it sets up a framework for growth. Much like a trellis allows a vine to climb steadily upwards, so a manual allows a small business’ s departments to grow steadily with greater ease.  Here are some other reasons that

An alternative to a bad credit business loan refers to a source of capital that small businesses can access, even if they have poor credit scores or other issues that would typically prevent them from getting approved for external financing. What is the importance of alternatives to traditional loans? At first glance, having multiple options for financing a small business outside of what is offered by traditional banks seems redundant. Business owners who are even aware of other options may be wary of them, as outside of the realm of a bank loan there are many different products and entities, some more beneficial for small businesses than others. However, when it comes to the question of whether or not these alternative capital sources are important, consider this; the average 7(a) loan amount in fiscal year 2012 was $337,730. Why is that significant? Because it demonstrates an important reality related to small business lending. The fact is, many of the enterprises we typically think of when

There are many ways to increase the bonds that small businesses share with their best customers, from rewards programs, to community events. When it comes to deciding how to stay in contact and deepen your rapport, it’s important to factor in the financing aspect for your small business, balancing your ambitions and you cash flow and ensuring that you get a good ROI on the money that you do spend while keeping your customers happy. One of the best principles that small businesses can espouse is taking what you already have and making it work more for your business. A perfect illustration of this concept can be found in the creation of a newsletter. So your small business has a social media presence? It’s also got a blog? Great! Then you already have everything that you need in order to put together a newsletter that can boost both your site’s traffic and the size of your social media presence. Here’s how it can work for you. Step 1:

There is large number of small business owners in the US who, due to one reason or another, have poor credit scores. While credit can affect a wide range of things in a person’s personal life, including the rental of an apartment to things as wide ranging as the ability to find a spouse or get hired, it does not mean that life is over for the person who has it. On the contrary, small business owners with bad credit actually have more options open to them than many of them realize. The ability to obtain financing to grow a small business is incredibly important, and while some banks will fund bad credit business loans, usually backed by the SBA, many will find that the traditional banking institutions that they would typically approach when trying to access credit will turn them away as a result of an extreme aversion to risk. Some of the typical reasons that business owners seek bad credit business loans and their

As a business owner, your cash flow is like your pulse. At all times it should be kept strong through a knowledge of responsible spending as well as a cohesive plan for obtaining capital should the need for expansion, wage payments, or other pursuits that require liquid cash arise. The economic climate of the last few years has been a tough one for many businesses; bad credit, devalued property and assets and increased requirements on the part of banks have made small business lending into one of the most hard-hit parts of the financing world. The ability to easily apply for credit from banks used to allow small business who wished to grow the option to access capital at will. Today, when a business owner goes to those same banks, they are much more likely to be turned away. An additional problem that faces many business owners goes beyond the increased lending requirements that they face. High risk industries as designated by banks include some

The financial climate of the US in the post recession period has been grim for small business owners. The collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a severe clamp down in lending requirements on the part of major banks, and small business programs were some of the most hard hit targets, with collateral demands increasing at the same time that many small business owners experienced dips in revenue from depressed sales as well as devaluation of their homes and other assets that could be used to secure funding.  In an informative article from the Washington Post published July of this year, it was noted that small business lending rates were down not only in larger banks, but also smaller local banks and credit unions, frustrating the hopes of expansion of many business owners who think of these banks as the only sources of financing available to them outside of family. Defaults on loans or mortgages caused by revenue losses dealt another blow to US small business owners,

An interesting article on dailyfinance.com explores the gap between the number of small business owners who handle their own digital marketing, and those who say that they would like to outsource the responsibility to others. In today’s increasingly digital world, there is a large amount of pressure on small business owners to stay on top of trends and changing currents in digital marketing and social media. The main barriers that small business owners cite that prevents them from doing their own SEO and digital marketing is, predictably, time. According to a survey by Constant Contact, inc. 19 percent of small business owners surveyed said they would prefer to outsource their social media, citing a mean value of an extra hour in their day at $273.00.  The biggest reason that small business owners do not outsource their social media is cost, however, the perceived cost over the cost of the time they spend might actually indicate they are better off simply outsourcing this important responsibility. Small

Video is a medium that brands have used to create ad materials that engage audiences for over a hundred years. The level of emotional resonance and memorability that can be achieved with video is second to none. Just how effective is video at conveying information? According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video can convey as much as 1.8 million written words. This means that a single video can potentially create as many conversions on you site as multiple pages of written copy. Still not convinced? Hosting video on your website conveys other benefits at well. In terms of SEO, your web page is more likely to come up high in search engines if it contains video, as indexing robots look for video as a way of identifying material that is potentially engaging for web surfers. In addition, video can greatly increase the time that visitors spend on your site, another important aspect that search engines take into account when ranking

With bad credit looming as one of the most restricting problems small business owners can experience, it can be helpful for those business owners who have worked their way around and out of bad credit to share some of the ways they were able to manage their problems and keep their business healthy. Many of the business owners that Horizon Business Funding works with on a daily basis are among those who have been marked with poor credit scores. The Great Recession that began in 2007 saw many Americans suddenly lose sources of income that they relied on to pay for mortgages, student loans and credit card debt. Small business owners were hit particularly hard, as they more than other borrowers rely on access to capital to keep their businesses moving forward and generating income. With real estate prices dropping as well as inflation, business owners found themselves with debt and little to no means of securing additional credit. And yet, many of these business

Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, small business lending took a dramatic hit, building on a gradual trend of decline that first started in the mid 90’s. Many small business owners were not only faced with tighter lending restrictions from banks and credit unions, but also devalued homes and collateral thanks to a break in the real estate market and inflation. Small business hiring slowed down, freezing the major source of job growth in the US and worsening the economic situation. Small business hiring is only now beginning to pick up as the economy starts to thaw, however things are far from ideal, and many businesses are still cut off from funding, in holding patterns and experiencing little growth or opportunity to make new hires. Within this economic climate, an even more problematic situation was encountered by the subset of business owners who had their credit damaged during the recession. Typically, business owners who had taken out loans to finance anything from a new

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