Tag: Business

Advantages of Working from Home Running a Business

Everyone knows there are advantages of working from home.  In the post COVID-19 pandemic world, the disadvantages have become clear as well. However, working from home and running a business from home are two very different things.  

Do the Advantages of Working from Home Apply When Running a Business?

The short answer to this question is yes. The advantages of working from home are still there when running a home based business.  In fact, the same disadvantages are present as well.  What many do not realize is that there are some unique disadvantages to working from home while running a business.  However, they are not impossible to overcome.

Clear Advantages of Working from Home

It’s not hard to find information on the advantages of working from home.  The internet is full of articles and blogs on why working at home is great and how to make it even better. All you have to do is search “work at home tips” and a plethora of information will be at your fingertips. You save money on overhead.  You save money and time not commuting.  Clothing costs are significantly cut.  Eating out is not as huge as a temptation so you can save money and your waistline. 

Of course each of these advantages of working from home can be a disadvantage as well. For every meal you don’t have to eat out you can make as many trips to your fridge as you want and get whatever you want.  That can add to your waistline and your grocery bill.  Some are not as productive when they are wearing pajamas.  Despite the savings, a lot of people would rather have the  commute time to wind down after a long day. It all depends on the individual.

Unique Disadvantages of Working from Home Running a Business

Sometimes it can be hard to determine if the advantages of working from home overcome the disadvantages.  Loneliness and isolation, lack of physical activity, distraction caused by everyday activity in the home,  and lack of accountability are all well documented disadvantages of working from home. However, running a home-based business out of your house comes with a unique set of disadvantages. 

Harder to Manage Employees

First, if you have employees, you no longer have to worry only about your own productivity.  You have to ensure they are being productive as well.  That’s a challenge, but technology has come a long way in that area.  There are a number of options for daily contact and project management that can reduce the issues caused by this. 

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

Fundability is More Difficult to Achieve

The truth of the matter is, you achieve fundability the same way regardless of whether you run your business out of your home or from a separate location.  The difference is, running a business from home may tempt you not to bother with some things that actually have a huge impact on fundability.  

For example, for a business to appear fundable to a lender, it needs to be totally separate from the owner.  This means having separate contact information, an EIN, being incorporated, and having a separate business bank account amount other things.  These are all things that a lot of home-based business owners do not worry about in the beginning. 

I mean, running your business from your home is an easy way to start. You can just use your own phone number and address, use your SSN and not worry about an EIN, and use your own bank account because it’s your money anyway.  

This is perfectly legal and definitely the easiest way to do things. But the easiest ways are not always the best ways.  If you set your business up to be a separate, fundable entity from the start, you are much more likely to be able to get the funding you need. 

How to Overcome the Work from Home Challenges of Running a Home Based Business

This potential lack of fundability can make it much harder to get approval for home based business loans and other types of business funding.  There is a way to overcome this issue, but you need help.  There are over 100 factors that affect fundability.  It is virtually impossible for a business owner to keep tabs on all of them on their own. 

advantages of working from home Credit Suite

 

 

 

 

In fact, the secret sauce required by each lender is typically known only to that lender.  That is, unless you can find a business credit expert to help you navigate. This is someone who not only understands all the ins and outs of fundability, but knows how to access it for your business. They have the knowledge and relationships necessary to know where to look and who to talk to to get the information you need to establish and build strong fundability.

They can also help you find financing that you qualify for right now, while you work on building the fundability of your business. Here are some examples.

Best Home Based Business Loans

Despite the fact that one of the biggest advantages of working from home is cost savings, getting funding is an issue.  When running a home based business, you have a few options. If your business is set up to be fundable, you have a lot more.  The key is to find the funding you can get now, and work on fundability in the meantime. 

Resist the urge to get a personal loan if you can find another possibility. Funding your business with personal credit should be a last ditch effort. It can have a serious negative impact on your personal credit score and financing in general.  Here are a couple of things to try first. 

Credit Line Hybrid

A credit line hybrid lets you fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.   You need a personal credit score of at least 680.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.

If you do not meet all of the requirements, it’s okay. You can take on a credit partner whomeets each of these requirements.  Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding. 

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

What are the Benefits of a Credit Line Hybrid? 

There are many benefits to using a credit line hybrid.  First, it is unsecured, meaning you do not have to have any collateral to put up.  Next, the funding is “no-doc.”  This means you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.

Not only that, but typically approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Additionally, often you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business.

The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.  Also, the approval of multiple credit cards creates competition.  This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. 

The best part is, these accounts report to the business credit reporting agencies, which helps you build your business credit score.  A strong business credit score strengthens fundability.

401K Plan Financing

401(k) plan financing is not a loan. You will not have to pay an early withdrawal fee, and you will not have to pay a tax penalty.

Our 401(k) plan financing offers a powerful and flexible way for new or existing businesses and franchises to leverage assets that are currently in a 401(k) plan or IRA. In as little as 3 weeks you can invest a portion of your retirement funds into your business. This gives you more control over the performance of your retirement plan assets. And it gives you the working capital you need for business growth.

What About the IRS?

This is a 401(k) Rollover for Working Capital program.  The IRS calls it a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS).  According to them, a ROBS qualified plan is a separate entity with its own set of requirements. The plan, through its company stock investments, rather than the individual, owns the trade or business. Therefore, some filing exceptions for individuals may not apply to such a plan. As always, it is going to be best to check with an expert.

401K Financing Details

This type of financing is not a loan against your 401(k), so there is no interest to pay. It does not use the 401(k) or stocks as collateral. Also, it’s quite easy to qualify for. You will not need financials or good credit to get approval. All the lender will require is a copy of your two most recent 401(k) statements.

If your plan has a value of more than $35,000, you can get approval even if your personal credit score is bad. You can receive whichever percent of your 401(k) is “rollable” as financing.  In many cases, you can secure a low-interest credit line or loan for 100% of your current 401(k) value.

The 401(k) you use cannot be from a business where you are currently working. Also, you cannot be currently contributing to it.

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

Enjoy All the Work from Home Benefits While Running Your Own Business

It is harder for a home-based business to get funding.  This stems from the fact that it is harder to separate the business from the owner for fundability purposes. That does not mean that you cannot enjoy all the advantages of working from home while running a business however.  It can be done.  You can build business fundability while running your business from home.  You just have to be intentional. A business credit expert to walk  you through the process is a must. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you can do this on your own. 

This is someone who can not only help you assess and build fundability, but they can also help you find the financing you can get right now easier and faster.  Find out more today.

The post Advantages of Working from Home Running a Business appeared first on Credit Suite.

Get Your First Time Business Loan

Can You Get a First Time Business Loan for Your Startup Business?

When it comes to a first time business loan, what are your best choices for your startup?

What are All the Different Types of Business Loans?

There are several different types of business loans out there. Startups can have more trouble getting funding. This is because you don’t have a business credit history – and you don’t have inventory or cash flow. But those aren’t the only way to get a first time business loan. Check out what else you can do.

Choosing Among the Many Different Types of Business Loans Means Knowing What’s Right for You

Knowing the different types of small business loans is only half the battle. You have to know how to figure out which one is right for you. The answer to that will vary based on a number of factors, and it may even change over the course of your business.

But the right type of loan for your business now may not be the right type for your business later. The best way to start figuring out which loan is right for your business is to figure out what’s available. Did you know that traditional bank loans are not the only option?

Types of Small Business Loans

There are many more, including:

  • Securities-Based Financing
  • 401(k) Financing
  • The Credit Line Hybrid
  • SBA Loans
  • Equipment Financing
  • Traditional Lines of Credit

Let’s dive in to each one and figure out which one is best for your business right now

Get a First Time Business Loan with Securities-Based Financing

Use existing stocks as leverage to get business financing. Borrow as much as 90% of their value. You continue to earn interest on the stocks pledged as collateral. Closing and funding takes less than 3 weeks.

Rates can be as low as 1.6%. This is a working capital line of credit. You will have challenged personal credit.

And if you do not have this type of securities, you can still get great funding if a credit partner (guarantor) has them.

Get a First Time Business Loan with 401(k) Financing

Use your existing 401(k), or IRA as collateral for business financing. This program uses IRS proven strategies. You will pay no tax penalties.

You still earn interest on your 401(k). pay low rates, often less than 5%. Close and fund in less than 3 weeks. You can usually get up to 100% of what’s “rollable” within your 401(k).

Follow these steps. A new corporation is formed; a retirement plan is created to allow for investment into the corporation; funds are rolled over into the new plan. Then the new plan purchases stock in corporation and holds it. The corporation becomes debt free and cash rich.

And, as before, if you don’t have an appropriate IRA or 401(k), you can still get this kind of funding if you’ve got a credit partner with the right stuff.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

For an Alternative to a First Time Business Loan, get to know Our Hybrid Credit Line Program

Check out this form of unsecured funding. Unsecured funding does not require collateral, but the lender’s risk is mitigated by higher interest rates. Our credit line hybrid has an even better interest rate than a secured loan. Yet you can get the money faster and easier than any type of traditional funding. Get business funding without having to supply bank statements or credit stubs. You can get funding in a few days rather than weeks without supplying any collateral or documents.

You can get some of the highest loan amounts and credit lines for businesses. Get 0% business credit cards with stated income. No financials required. These report to business CRAs. You can build business credit at the same time. This will get you access to even more cash with no personal guarantee.

You can often get a loan of 5 times the amount of current highest revolving credit limit account. This is up to $150,000. Easily five times what you could get on your own when applying for cards. Get cash out on this program as well.

Advantages

There will be NO impact on your personal credit with this type of financing. You need a good credit score or a guarantor with good credit to get an approval. With good personal credit, get unsecured credit cards with a personal guarantee. And with good business credit, get unsecured credit cards without a personal guarantee.

Check out business credit. It should be your goal to build business credit, even if you can get funding elsewhere. Business credit will help your company for years to come. Business credit is credit linked to your EIN and not your SSN.

This credit is available without a personal guarantee. It is available regardless of personal credit. You can get business credit immediately. Business credit is the only way to get money for a business when you don’t have collateral, cash flow, good personal credit, or a guarantor.

Get a First Time Business Loan Through SBA Loans

Guaranteed by the federal government. Issued by participating lenders, usually banks. They offer a lot of the perks of traditional loans, such as lower interest rates and favorable terms. Due to government guarantee, lenders are able to offer them to those with a lower credit score than would typically be required.

Eligibility for SBA Loans

Lenders and loan programs have unique eligibility requirements. In general, eligibility is based on what a business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership, and where the business operates. Hence even those with bad credit may qualify for startup funding.

Normally, businesses must meet size standards, be able to repay, and have a sound business purpose. The lender will provide you with a full list of eligibility requirements for your loan. See www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards.

More About Eligibility for SBA Loans

General eligibility also includes:

  • Being a for-profit business – the business must be officially registered and operating legally
  • Doing business in the US – the business must be physically located and operating in the US or its territories
  • Having vested equity – the owner must have invested their own time or money in the business
  • Exhausting other funding options – the business must not be able to get funds from any other financial lender

Ideal credit scores for an SBA loan are 680 or above. There are a number of SBA loan programs, each one designed to work for different needs and situations. Some of the most common SBA loan programs include:

  • 7(a) loans
  • 504 loans
  • Microloans
  • Disaster loans
  • Express loans

These are just a few the of the options available. Find out more at SBA.gov.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

Which SBA Loan is Best?

The thing about SBA loans is that they each have a specific purpose. For example, if your business has suffered due to a natural disaster, you need a disaster loan. If you need $50,000 or less, a microloan may be the best option. But the 7(a) loan program is the most versatile.

SBA 7 (a) Loan Program Details

A standard 7(a) loan can be for up to $5 million. The maximum SBA guarantee is 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans greater than $150,000. The interest rate varies but cannot exceed the SBA maximum. The turnaround is 5 – 10 business days. These funds can be used for a number of things, and the minimum credit score is 640. But of course the higher the better.

Who Do SBA Loans Work Best For?

These loans work well for those that are not in a hurry to get funding

The approval and funding process can take a while, especially with the government red tape required for the government guarantee. If you can wait, meet all the requirements, and want a more traditional type of loan, SBA loans are an option.

Get a First Time Business Loan with Equipment Financing

Businesses looking to buy or lease equipment can use equipment financing. Rates vary widely depending on risk factors. You usually can get approval with a 650 or better credit score. This is for major equipment only, not a combination of a lot of small equipment. These loans work well for those that have good credit and just need to finance some equipment. The equipment is the collateral, so that helps out some with rates.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

Get a First Time Business Loan with a Traditional Line of Credit

This is similar to a traditional term loan in terms of where you get it, and approval requirements. However, it is revolving financing more like a credit card. Typically have better interest rates that credit cards. They work well for those who qualify for traditional term loans but want revolving credit rather than a term loan.

Which Types of Small Business Loans are Best for Your Business?

If you know what types of business loans are available to your business, you can make a more educated decision about which types of business loans will work best for you. Knowing what’s out there is only half the battle. You also have to understand your own eligibility and funding needs.

Get a First Time Business Loan: Takeaways

All businesses need funding. Traditional term loans are not the only option. Other options exist to help you money faster. Or funding despite bad credit. And you can better rates and terms than you would get with a traditional term loan.

The post Get Your First Time Business Loan appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Optimize Google My Business and Leverage It for More Sales

One of the simplest ways to gain traffic and customers is claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Google My Business (GMB), is a listing of your business’ operating information, reviews, posts, and so much more. To that end, there are a few things you should consider before diving into how to claim …

The post How to Optimize Google My Business and Leverage It for More Sales first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

Best Ways to Borrow Money to Start Business Growth and Expansion

When it comes to borrowing money for business growth and expansion, or even to start a business from the beginning, there are many options. So many in fact, that it can become overwhelming. All the ways to borrow money to start business growth, expansion, or from scratch vary.  Factors like terms, rates, and amount available all make a difference. What’s the best option for your business? 

Which Way to Borrow Money to Start a Business is Best for You

If you are considering borrowing money for business expansion, you need to to think about the following: 

  • Where to apply for a small business loan
  • Terms of business loans
  • Business loan rates

What type of business loan is best for you?  It depends on a number of factors. First, you have to know what’s available. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: SBA Loans

SBA loans are loans with a government guarantee through the Small Business Administration.  Participating lenders handle the application process and distribution of the funds. They guarantee up to 85% of loans of $150,000 or less. Loans that are more than $150,000 they will guarantee up to 75%. The maximum loan amount they offer is $5 million. 

Due to the government guarantee, financial institutions are able to offer them at lower interest rates. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

SBA 504 Loan Program

These loans are also available up to $5 million.  You can buy machinery, facilities, or land, making them perfect for borrowing money to start business expansion. They work especially well for commercial real estate purchases . 

Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years. Funding can take from 30 to 90 days. You need a minimum credit score of 680.  Also, collateral is the asset it is financing.  There is also a down payment requirement of 10%, which can increase to 15% for a new business. 

There is also a requirement you be in business at least 2 years, or that management has equivalent experience if the business is a startup. 

7a SBA loan

This program also offers federally funded term loans up to $5 million. You can use the funds for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. 

The minimum credit score to qualify is 620.  There is also a downpayment requirement of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will suffice. 

This option is also great for borrowing money to start a business from scratch. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: AR Financing

Borrowing against receivables is a way to borrow money to start business growth or expansion as well. Many businesses wait weeks, or even months, to get paid on outstanding invoices.  These open invoices are accounts receivable. 

It can create major cash flow issues,  because they provide their goods and services and absorb those costs until they eventually get paid. Sometimes it can take 90 days or longer to collect. 

Of course, there is something to be said for offering better terms to your clients.  Allowing them to pay invoices later helps establish with clients.  It’s an incentive for them to choose one business over the other. 

If you have a lot of these open account receivable, AR financing can be a way to borrow money to start business expansion! You can get the funds in as little as 24 hours.

Monthly rates are between 8% and 12%, and you can get financing as high as $10,000,000. All of this is possible, even with severely challenged personal credit.  

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: SME Loan

An SME loan (Small and Medium Enterprise Loan) is a good option as well.  They are generally designed to help those small and medium businesses in underserved areas or with owners from underserved populations.  

While interest rates and business loan terms vary, many business owners find luck in obtaining an SME loan to fund expansion or growth. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: Credit Line Hybrid

The Credit Line Hybrid allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral.  It’s revolving credit, like a credit card or line of credit, so you only pay back what you use.  

To qualify, your personal credit score has to be at least 680.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have 4 or less credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit. 

If you don’t qualify on your own, you can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements.  Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding. 

What are the Benefits of a Credit Line Hybrid? 

Not only is this unsecured business funding, meaning you do not have to have any collateral, but it is also no-doc.  That means you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.  

Also, typical approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Furthermore, often you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

The approval for multiple credit cards creates competition.  This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. 

The icing on the proverbial cake is, the Credit Line Hybrid reports to the business credit reporting agencies. That means it can boost your business credit score. The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.

Use a Business Credit Expert to Help You Borrow Money for Your Business

Did you even know there was such a thing as a business credit expert? There is, and the Credit Suite business credit experts are the best. A business credit expert can help you: 

  • Find the best loans for your business
  • Analyze your overall business fundability
  • Walk you through the process of improving findability if needed
  • Help you find funding you qualify for now!
  • Help you build your business credit profile

Business credit experts are versed in who to call and who to talk to with lenders to find out what they are looking for. They can guide you through the tangled web that is fundability, make sure your business is set up in a way to make you as fundable as possible, and ensure you have every opportunity to get the business funding you need now and in the future. 

The post Best Ways to Borrow Money to Start Business Growth and Expansion appeared first on Credit Suite.

Best Ways to Borrow Money to Start Business Growth and Expansion

When it comes to borrowing money for business growth and expansion, or even to start a business from the beginning, there are many options. So many in fact, that it can become overwhelming. All the ways to borrow money to start business growth, expansion, or from scratch vary.  Factors like terms, rates, and amount available all make a difference. What’s the best option for your business? 

Which Way to Borrow Money to Start a Business is Best for You

If you are considering borrowing money for business expansion, you need to to think about the following: 

  • Where to apply for a small business loan
  • Terms of business loans
  • Business loan rates

What type of business loan is best for you?  It depends on a number of factors. First, you have to know what’s available. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: SBA Loans

SBA loans are loans with a government guarantee through the Small Business Administration.  Participating lenders handle the application process and distribution of the funds. They guarantee up to 85% of loans of $150,000 or less. Loans that are more than $150,000 they will guarantee up to 75%. The maximum loan amount they offer is $5 million. 

Due to the government guarantee, financial institutions are able to offer them at lower interest rates. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

SBA 504 Loan Program

These loans are also available up to $5 million.  You can buy machinery, facilities, or land, making them perfect for borrowing money to start business expansion. They work especially well for commercial real estate purchases . 

Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years. Funding can take from 30 to 90 days. You need a minimum credit score of 680.  Also, collateral is the asset it is financing.  There is also a down payment requirement of 10%, which can increase to 15% for a new business. 

There is also a requirement you be in business at least 2 years, or that management has equivalent experience if the business is a startup. 

7a SBA loan

This program also offers federally funded term loans up to $5 million. You can use the funds for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. 

The minimum credit score to qualify is 620.  There is also a downpayment requirement of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will suffice. 

This option is also great for borrowing money to start a business from scratch. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: AR Financing

Borrowing against receivables is a way to borrow money to start business growth or expansion as well. Many businesses wait weeks, or even months, to get paid on outstanding invoices.  These open invoices are accounts receivable. 

It can create major cash flow issues,  because they provide their goods and services and absorb those costs until they eventually get paid. Sometimes it can take 90 days or longer to collect. 

Of course, there is something to be said for offering better terms to your clients.  Allowing them to pay invoices later helps establish with clients.  It’s an incentive for them to choose one business over the other. 

If you have a lot of these open account receivable, AR financing can be a way to borrow money to start business expansion! You can get the funds in as little as 24 hours.

Monthly rates are between 8% and 12%, and you can get financing as high as $10,000,000. All of this is possible, even with severely challenged personal credit.  

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: SME Loan

An SME loan (Small and Medium Enterprise Loan) is a good option as well.  They are generally designed to help those small and medium businesses in underserved areas or with owners from underserved populations.  

While interest rates and business loan terms vary, many business owners find luck in obtaining an SME loan to fund expansion or growth. 

Borrow Money to Start Business Growth: Credit Line Hybrid

The Credit Line Hybrid allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral.  It’s revolving credit, like a credit card or line of credit, so you only pay back what you use.  

To qualify, your personal credit score has to be at least 680.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have 4 or less credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit. 

If you don’t qualify on your own, you can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements.  Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding. 

What are the Benefits of a Credit Line Hybrid? 

Not only is this unsecured business funding, meaning you do not have to have any collateral, but it is also no-doc.  That means you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.  

Also, typical approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Furthermore, often you can get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business. 

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans

The approval for multiple credit cards creates competition.  This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. 

The icing on the proverbial cake is, the Credit Line Hybrid reports to the business credit reporting agencies. That means it can boost your business credit score. The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.

Use a Business Credit Expert to Help You Borrow Money for Your Business

Did you even know there was such a thing as a business credit expert? There is, and the Credit Suite business credit experts are the best. A business credit expert can help you: 

  • Find the best loans for your business
  • Analyze your overall business fundability
  • Walk you through the process of improving findability if needed
  • Help you find funding you qualify for now!
  • Help you build your business credit profile

Business credit experts are versed in who to call and who to talk to with lenders to find out what they are looking for. They can guide you through the tangled web that is fundability, make sure your business is set up in a way to make you as fundable as possible, and ensure you have every opportunity to get the business funding you need now and in the future. 

The post Best Ways to Borrow Money to Start Business Growth and Expansion appeared first on Credit Suite.

The post Best Ways to Borrow Money to Start Business Growth and Expansion appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

How to Optimize Google My Business and Leverage It for More Sales

One of the simplest ways to gain traffic and customers is claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Google My Business (GMB), is a listing of your business’ operating information, reviews, posts, and so much more.

To that end, there are a few things you should consider before diving into how to claim your business on Google.

For example:

  • What are your customers finding when they search for your business online?
  • If they need to know your phone number, how quickly can they access it?
  • If they want to know if you have parking available, how will they find out?

You need to make sure this information is available to consumers before they even reach your website.

Although most of this information can likely be found on your website, Google My Business indexes the content you provide for consistency across Google Search and Maps (Google Local Guides can also review and edit your listings for consistency).

Example business who has claimed of google my business

But it’s not just a place to find basic information about your business.

When used correctly, Google My Business is a powerful tool that can increase your revenue and provide valuable insights about your customers.

I’m going to explain its importance and how you can optimize it to generate more sales.

The Number One Mistake Business Owners Make with Google My Business

Let’s face it. Google dominates search.

According to Net Marketshare, approximately 80% of all searches happen on Google.

graph showing the segments of the google my business traffic

To put things into perspective, there are 3.5 billion searches per day.

The kicker? Most people don’t get past Google’s first page of search results.

A study examined the number of click-throughs for each Google search result, and they exponentially decreased on page two.

Table showing how to claim a business on google my business

In other words, your customers are finding what they need on Google’s first page.

Although there are other ways to get your business to show up on the first page of Google, Google My Business is an incredibly valuable (and easy) tool to use that helps you:

  • Control, index, and display pertinent business information
  • Interact with potential customers and manage your online review reputation
  • Curate customer photos, videos, and other user-generated content
  • Gather insights regarding how your customers are arriving on your site

The signals sent from Google My Business even play a role in local SEO strategy.

Google my Business showing pie chart affects local SEO

56% of local retailers haven’t claimed their free Google My Business account.

  percent of businesses that have  claimed their business listing

This is surprising because a Google study found that “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.”

There is an enormous upside for using Google My Business, and the process to claim your business only takes a few steps.

To start, visit https://www.google.com/business.

making the most of your free Google My Business account

Next, input the basic information (name, address, phone number, website) about your business.

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Then, you’ll be required to verify your account by submitting a code that is mailed to your business address. This step is necessary to unlock all GMB features.

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After your company information is added, you can access your dashboard to start personalizing your listing.

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But don’t stop there. You’re not done!

Most companies make this mistake. They claim their Google My Business account, add the bare minimum details, and abandon it.

They’re leaving money on the table.

You need to optimize it.

Claiming the account is just the start. There are so many ways you can use it.

When leveraged correctly, Google My Business can lead to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

How to Claim a Business on Google

Claiming your business on Google is one of the easiest ways to reach new customers–but you need to make sure you follow some best practices in order to get the most out of your listing.

1. Ensure Your Information Is Accurate, Comprehensive, and Up-to-Date

There are many different parts of your Google My Business listing, so let’s start with your core business information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Description
  • Category
  • Attributes

Google My Business requests your name, address and phone number (otherwise known as NAP) to begin the listing.

This information will be indexed by Google Search, Maps and Google+, providing a foundation for your local SEO.

Your information should be consistent with what is currently listed on your website.

Actually, you need to ensure the information is exactly the same.

Inconsistencies in the information will negatively impact your search ranking.

bar graph showing common ranking issues that may come up when you claim a business on Google

When inputting your address, make sure it matches with the correct coordinates on the map and include the same zip code (5-digit vs. hyphenated 9-digit code) provided on your website.

Additionally, it’s better to have a local number as opposed to a national or call center option.

Using Google Maps to optimize your Google  My Business page.

After you’ve provided NAP, you can focus on two very important pieces of your listing: your business category and your company attributes.

These areas require you to be specific in regards to what type of business you operate.

You should consider your keyword strategy when adding your business category and attributes.

Be careful, though.

I don’t recommend you stuff your listing with keywords.

Google My Business prohibits that type of behavior. In 2016, they eliminated users’ ability to edit GMB descriptions and introduced attributes to provide a more accurate listing.

example of introducing attributes in your Google My Business account.

While your category is meant to be very specific, attributes can paint a clearer picture of your business and the experience you provide.

It is beneficial to browse the complete list of 2,395 business categories to make sure you’re capturing the correct classification of your company.

Remember to be specific. Don’t put “Cosmetology” if you run a “Nail Salon.”

Example business categories for your google my business account

Attributes allow business owners to expandtheir business’ capabilities in ways that might not be apparent from the business category they have selected.

Does your restaurant have a patio or bar seating? Is it kid-friendly?

What are the amenities in your apartment complex? Tennis courts? Indoor pool?

Does your coffee shop offer free wifi? Public restrooms?

These attributes can be added to answer questions your customers will likely have and provide a better understanding of the business’ capabilities and offerings.

example attributes for your google my business account

After your basic information is complete, you can move on and personalize the visual aspect of your listing.

The first thing your customers will notice when searching for your business?

Your profile picture.

No listing is complete without a photo.

A Synup study found, “Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.”

Google My Business encourages you to upload a profile photo, cover photo, and video to showcase your business. Each has their own purpose shown below:

Example profile photos for your google my business account

Not only can you upload your own high-quality content, but you can also feature user-generated content too.

Someone snapped and posted a great pic of your flagship entrée?

Use it as your profile picture by selecting it under the “Photos tagged of your business” option.

"photo tagged of your business" to add to your Google My Business profile.

Encouraging your customers to add photos of their interactions with your business can lead to a plentiful gallery of user-generated content on your listing.

But they don’t have to just share their experiences in photos.

They can write about their experience too.

2. Ask for Reviews (and Respond to Them)

Reviews are the lifeblood of local search.

It’s a really simple equation:

Good reviews = sales. More good reviews = more sales.

Bad reviews can also present you with an opportunity.

Almost everyone likes a second opinion. That’s why 90% of people read reviews before purchasing.

The frequency of searches for reviews is increasing too. A 2016 study found, “53% of consumers search for local businesses at least one time per month.”

That’s a 10% increase over 2015.

bar graph showing how many people use the internet to find local businesses, emphasizing the importance of your Google My Business account/page

How do you get reviews from your customers, though?

It’s simple. You ask them!

Some sites discourage this, but Google My Business actively encourages it. You can send a link to your customers in a few easy steps.

Open www.google.com/maps in a new web browser.

How to claim a business on Google using google maps

In the top left corner, search the name of your company. (This is also a great opportunity to check if your address is correct on your Google My Business dashboard.)

How to claim a business on Google using google maps (step 2)

After selecting your business, click the menu option in the top-left corner.

"menu option" (step 3) businesses on Google My Business

Click “Share or Embed Map.”

share/imbed map stage of claiming a business on Google

Click “Copy Link.”

how to claim a business on google - "copy link"

Share with all your previous customers by sending the link via email or text.

After you start to gather reviews on your listing, you need to respond to them.

All of them.

Every last one of them.

The good. The bad. The neutral.

Take time to write a message to each reviewer using the Google My Business dashboard.

53% of people expect responses to negative reviews.

bargraph showing how much more likely you are to visit a local business if the owner responds badly to negative reviews on their Google My Business account

If your reviews are arriving with a perfect 5-star rating, this is your opportunity to turn a customer into a passionate supporter of your business.

Whether you’re a national company or a local flower shop (as shown below), it is important to reach out and acknowledge the experiences your customers have with your brand.

example review to use in your Google My Business Account

If things are bad, this is your opportunity to make things right. Donatos Pizza monitored their reviews in Columbus, Ohio and leaped at the chance to enhance a customer’s experience.

Upon receiving a neutral 3-star review, the owner actively reached out to see how he could “raise that 3-star review to a 5-star review.”

example 2 of responding to bad reviews on their Google My Business account

Now, that’s customer service.

3. Speak Directly to Your Customers through Google My Business Messages

What if your customers can’t find something on your listing or website?

They aregoing to want to contact you. But how?

You might be thinking, “Simple. My phone number is included in my Google My Business listing.”

But actually, sometimes your customers don’t want to callyou.

In fact, a study found “90% of business leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call.”

That’s why mobile messaging can be a highly effective part of your marketing strategy.

It can lead to increased customer engagement and can help close the sale.

Studies show direct SMS messaging even has a higher conversion rate than mobile advertising.

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That’s why Google introduced its messaging feature as a solution.

Now, you can activate this feature and communicate one-on-one with your customers, answering questions, fielding comments, and increasing loyalty.

By activating the Google My Business messaging feature, you unlock the option for customers to ask you a question via SMS text straight from your GMB listing.

with the messaging feature on Google my Business, you can exchange texts sent straight from your listing

You can turn this feature on by clicking the “Turn On Messaging” button in your Google My Business dashboard.

how to claim a business on google and use the messaging feature

Next, you will be asked to input a phone number you’ll want to use to chat.

It’s important to note that this phone number will not be shared publicly since your customers will be clicking the “Message” button.

If you don’t want to use a personal number, there are a number of alternative options.

Once you add your number, you will be required to verify it with a code you receive on your phone.

Chat with your customers via your Google My Business page

You’ll have complete control to turn this feature on and off and can update the number as needed.

Google also calculates a response time for you that will be shown on your listing. This is averaged from the length of time it takes you to respond to inquiries.

Finally, you can add a “Welcome Message.” This is what users will receive when they start a message to you.

A sample message could read, “Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate the ability to serve you and will respond to your request momentarily.”

Settings in your Google My Business Account

Now that the feature is activated and ready to go, you will receive an SMS text message any time someone asks a question via the message button on your listing.

You can then directly respond in the form of a text message.

This feature fosters a closer connection between your business and customers. Your business can be perceived as more transparent, which can lead to increased credibility and sales.

But this service is only effective in sharing information with customers who activelyinquire.

Google also created an option to share news and updates right on your listing for those who may be passivelybrowsing.

Let’s take a look at how Google Posts can optimize your listing.

4. Add Posts to Share Business Updates

Now that I’ve shown you how to manage user-generated content on your Google My Business listing, let’s focus on the content you create.

This is where Google Posts come in.

Google opened its post feature it to all businesses in 2017. This feature allows you to share content about your business in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • Highlighting a new line of fall clothing with various product images
  • Showcasing an upcoming event you are trying to promote
  • Using a gif to relive a game-winning shot with your audience
  • Sharing a text update on a recent company advancement

The Seattle Mariners are a great example of how a brand is using Google Posts to promote highlights of their games.

google my business idea - business page for the Seattle Mariners

Google Posts allows you to add text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons including:

  • Buy
  • Sign up
  • Learn more
  • Reserve
  • Get Offer

You can begin creating posts after you have verified your Google My Business account. Once the verification is complete, your “Posts” option will appear on the left-hand menu.

After clicking “create post,” you can add text and visuals.

create posts for your Google My Business account

When creating your post, you should consider:

  • Google allows a maximum of 300 words per single post but only 60-70 characters will show up on the mobile and desktop display if you use a CTA button.
  • The entire text post will show on mobile if no CTA button is used.
  • The image you select should be a high-quality representation of your business. Google uses a 4:3 ratio, so the minimum dimension required is 400×300 pixels.
  • Speak directly to your audience. Don’t use industry jargon, but rather focus on sharing content that will move your audience to engage with the post.
  • Google provides insights (more on that in a bit) and engagement metrics for each post, but it’s also a good idea to set up UTM parameters for links as well.

After clicking “publish,” you can check out your post on your listing.

Now, it is ready and waiting for view by all those searching for your business. Make sure you review it within a week of publishing it since Google Posts disappear in a week.

example of google my business account

Google Posts disappear after seven days unless you set a shorter time frame. That’s why it’s important to be timely and hyper-specific when crafting your posts.

Consider having a strategy in place and drafting an editorial calendar designated for your Google Post content.

That way, you can better integrate posts into your marketing plan and examine their impact on your business.

5. Track Customer Paths Through Google My Business Insights

As with any marketing tactic, it’s important to measure the impact of your Google My Business listing.

Google has built-in tools to help with that.

Google My Business Insights can tell you:

  • How customers are finding your business (direct vs. discovery searches)
  • Where on Google your customers are finding your listing (Search vs. Maps)
  • The actions your customers are taking on your listing (Visiting your site, clicking on directions, browsing the photo gallery, calling you)
  • Areas that your customers are living (based on direction queries)
  • Total phone calls and time when customers are calling

Let’s start with the most important question: How your customers are finding you?

They are using two types of searches: direct and discovery.

Direct searches show that your customers know about your company and are using your business name or address to find you.

Discovery searches involve searching for the business type or category—not necessarily the business’ name. This is common for people who aren’t familiar with your company.

pie chart of how customers reach businesses using google my business

Once you figure out how they are finding your listing, you’ll want to understand what they are doing with it.

Are they visiting your website?

Requesting directions?

Calling you?

Browsing through your photos?

While it is important to set up UTM parameters for links, Google My Business also provides an in-depth look at your customers’ actions in your listing.

Google My Business tracks user actions in their insights dashboard, which can help you understand what your customers find valuable in your listing.

Chart showing customer actions. Google my business tracks your data for you.

Google also enables you to benchmark your user-generated content (specifically your photo gallery) against your competitors.

You can analyze your gallery’s photo views and compare them to other businesses similar to yours.

tracking photos used in google my business

All of this information can be used to track your customers’ conversion path and provide a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ actions prior to reaching your website.

Conclusion

There are many ways customers can find your business. Google My Business positions your important business information in front of the eyes of potential customers who are looking for your product, service, or experience.

GMB helps with local SEO, offers a chance to engage with your customers via reviews or posts, and provides useful insights on your customers’ purchasing paths. On top of everything else, it is a free and valuable tool.

Not claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is like saying, “No thanks” to someone offering you a free digital sign for your restaurant right off a highway exit.

If you want help setting up your Google My Business account, or with your digital strategy in general, we are here for you!

How will you optimize your Google My Business listing to generate additional revenue for your business?

10 Small Business Examples of the Best Instagram Bios

Instagram is extremely popular. The image-heavy platform is the fifth most-used social media network in the world, with over 1.2 billion users.

If you don’t have a presence on Instagram, you’re missing out on building an audience and increasing your sales.

To get the most out of Instagram, you should create a solid Instagram bio so users can get a clear, concise idea of who you are, what you’re about, and, most importantly, what you can offer them.

Here are ten of the best Instagram bios for small businesses and explain why they’re excellent. We’ll also include tips for crafting a strong bio and what must-haves to include on your company account.

10 of the Best Instagram Bios for Small Businesses

Here are several small-business Instagram bios that hit the mark and why. We’ve also included takeaways you can use for your own company.

1. Ellevest

best Instagram bios - ellevest instagram page bio

Ellevest is a digital investing platform. CEO Sallie Lee Krawcheck co-founded the company to empower women to take greater control over their financial future.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

The Ellevest Instagram bio works because it clearly states who the business is for (by women, for women), the industry it’s in (financial services), and the type of business model it uses (membership-based). This gives the reader a good idea of the target audience and what they’ll achieve through the service.

The company also includes a Linktree link in its bio, a platform allowing you to showcase additional links to content you want to share with your followers. This link points users to multiple brand blog posts and membership webpages.

You can borrow this for your own small business. After all, a Linktree link isn’t just a content-sharing opportunity: You can walk people directly to your landing pages via Instagram, cutting through the noise so they can more easily buy from you.

2. Pura Vida Bracelets

best instagram bios - pure vida

Pura Vida, which translates to “Pure Life,” is more than just a bracelet retailer. The company has a community of over 800 artisans in countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, and India who earn money crafting homemade jewelry.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

First off, the Pura Vida Bracelets Instagram bio is structured with various emojis, which saves space and gives off a fun vibe. “Fun” works here because the company features tons of colorful images of smiling people modeling the products—it’s on-brand.

Second, the emojis-as-bullet-points help clearly state the bio’s main areas of focus, particularly “FREE SHIPPING.” This is good for small businesses to highlight, especially if your main competitors don’t offer it.

Lastly, the branded hashtag, #PuraVidaBracelets, is a nice touch. Small-business retailers should consider implementing a personalized hashtag as a way to social-listen and reshare UGC across social while getting their brands’ names out there.

3. The Freckled Hen Farmhouse

best instagram bios - the freckled hen farmhouse

Created by lifestyle blogger Natalie Freeman and her husband Luke, The Freckled Hen Farmhouse is both a brick-and-mortar and online shopping destination. This general store has everything from home goods to local products to garden supplies.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

The Freckled Hen Farmhouse Instagram bio doesn’t cater to one audience over the other. Instead, it caters to both in-person and online shoppers.

The bio includes its store hours, local delivery options, and phone number. Additionally, the company plugs its rental cottage in the bio, adding more opportunities for loyal customers to spend money on the brand. Finally, it includes a Linktree link leading to its store website, newsletter sign-up page, and seasonal and year-round category pages.

If you’re a small business with an online and offline space, it’s a smart idea to speak to all your customers in your Instagram bio.

4. Lush Cosmetics

best instagram bios - lushcosmetics

Lush is a values-driven brand. Founded in London, the cosmetics company prides itself on fresh products, no unnecessary ingredients, and cruelty-free testing.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

Unlike our other examples, the Lush Cosmetics Instagram bio keeps it short and sweet, saying, “We’re creating a cosmetics revolution to save the planet,” followed by two emojis, its branded hashtag, and a Linktree link.

The message is direct, and words and phrases like “revolution” and “save the planet” feel bold and exciting coming from a makeup brand. Similarly, small brands can, and should, experiment with how they describe their company, as long as it feels relevant—otherwise, it will come off as confusing, or worse, inauthentic.

This bio is a good reminder, too, that just because you have more space doesn’t mean you need to use it. That in itself is a departure from jam-packed bios and even a bit surprising. Our brains like novelty, so don’t be afraid to do things a little differently for your business.

5. Later

best Instagram bios - later instagram page bio

Later is a leading Instagram marketing platform. The company boasts millions of users, and social media professionals, brands, and influencers can use the tool to manage content across Instagram, Pinterest, and even TikTok.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

There are a lot of things working for the Later Instagram bio. First, the company does a great job expanding the copy beyond its name to better reach users on the platform who may be looking for this type of service (social marketing platform).

By improving its Instagram SEO with relevant keywords, the brand increases its chances of being found. Plus, “Later” is a common word, so it’s good to add more context for searchers.

Next, the company states it’s the “#1 Marketing Platform for Instagram.” Piggy-backing off SEO, this is good to market to potential users.

Small businesses can optimize their bios with applicable keywords and feature brag-worthy accomplishments to get readers’ attention.

6. ALOHA

best Instagram bios - aloha instagram page bio

ALOHA produces USDA organic, vegan, and gluten-free protein powders, drinks, and foods. The brand shares plenty of recipes and UGC on its site and social media platforms.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

Taking a page out of Later’s book, the ALOHA Instagram bio asserts the company as its industry’s leader. While the brand keeps the copy to a minimum, it focuses on the keywords its customers care about, like “organic” and “plant-based.”

ALOHA also changed its profile picture to showcase it was named a Certified B Corporation. These companies must meet strict social and environmental standards, among others. If your small business has a prestigious distinction or won a big award, it’s worth highlighting it in this space.

7. Lokal

best Instagram bios - lokal hotel instagram page bio

A husband-and-wife duo created the Lokal Hotel after dreaming up ways they could improve the Airbnbs where they’d stayed and the hospitality experience in general. This home-away-from-home brand offers hyper-local lodging in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey regions.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

The Lokal Hotel Instagram bio covers a lot of ground. It includes a specific category, “boutique hotels | cabins” instead of just “hotel,” so those seeking this particular experience can find it, and expands on this with “apartment suites & homes.”

On top of the location and branded hashtag, the bio points out the Linktree where guests can book their stay, sign up for its newsletter, and more.

Other small businesses, especially those in this space, can take a few cues from this bio. By keeping all this information centralized, you could keep potential guests engaged and on your page longer.

8. GOODEE

best Instagram bios - goodee instagram page bio

GOODEE is a top online marketplace. Designers and entrepreneurs Byron and Dexter Peart founded the company to curate brands that not only looked good but sparked good too. As such, they only work with artisans who prioritize positive environmental or social impact.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

The GOODEE Instagram bio lays out what the business is (a curated marketplace) and its focus (good design meets good purpose). Like ALOHA, pointing to the company’s B Corp designation and 1% for the Planet certification aligns with its mission and signals to consumers what’s important to the business.

This is both sincere and savvy: 72 percent of U.S. consumers believe it’s important “to buy from companies that reflect their values,” according to Retail TouchPoints.

So, if your small business is values-driven, don’t shy away from including that in your marketing and messaging. After all, the customers you seek are also seeking you.

9. Rumpl

best Instagram bios - rumpl instagram page bio

Rumpl operates in the outdoor-industry space and helps keep campers and adventurers warm. After a successful Kickstarter launch, the company continues to grow and expand its inventory.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

There’s beauty in the simplicity of the Rumpl Instagram bio. It mentions its best-known item—blankets— and gives a brief, relatable description of the materials in them. The company also mentions its “Shark Tank” appearance and includes a branded hashtag and link to a current giveaway.

Instagram contests are popular and can help accelerate your brand growth. This is especially true if you partner with another company and can leverage each other’s audiences. It’s something your small business should consider (and then promote in your Instagram bio, of course!).

10. Letterfolk

best Instagram bios - letterfolk instagram page bio

This home-decor biz produces letter boards, tile sets, paper goods, and more. A married couple founded Letterfolk, and the company has developed a big following thanks to its thoughtfully designed products and national press hits.

Why This Instagram Bio Is Great

Instead of using the company’s Instagram bio to direct followers to use certain hashtags, Letterfolk invites its followers to check them out, saying, “See LF products in the wild,” followed by relevant hashtags. Using this hashtag, consumers can view how other people use and display their products. By making this tweak, it feels more community-oriented right away.

Another notable distinction: It’s stated in the bio that Joanna and Johnny are not only a husband-and-wife team but also a small business.

Since some shoppers specifically look to buy from smaller companies, this is an excellent way to get in front of potential shoppers. If you don’t call-out your small-biz standing in your bio, consider adding it and see if there’s an increase in engagement.

5 Tips for Creating the Best Instagram Bio for Your Small Business

Now that you’ve seen examples of some of the best Instagram bios for businesses, let’s recap the top ways to make yours stand out.

1. Use Creative Elements

Some brands add emojis to the mix in their Instagram bios. Aside from highlighting your brand’s personality, these icons can help influence readability. This could help your messaging stand out. So, you might want to try cutting back on copy and increasing white space by including emojis.

Brands can also change up font styles in their Instagram bios. This adds variety. However, be careful to make sure the script is readable, and don’t overuse it.

2. Show Your Brand’s Personality

You want to capture your brand’s personality in your Instagram bio. Experiment with copy, emojis, and other creative ways to show it off.

Don’t be afraid to play around a bit and have fun with your followers, either. Drizly’s Instagram bio comes to mind:

best Instagram bios - drizly instagram page bio

Be careful not to mistake “social media” as an excuse to depart from your familiar brand voice, though. For example, a hospital using laughing emojis in its bio wouldn’t be a fit—and might even make patients nervous! Alternatively, seeing emojis on the BarkBox Instagram bio feels completely in-line with the company’s fun reputation.

Bottom line: Know your brand and know your audience.

3. Share User-Generated Content

You don’t need to develop a campaign to create a hashtag—though it doesn’t hurt. Creating a hashtag unique to your small business is a good way to create brand awareness and help build your community.

Craft a hashtag that includes your company name or captures your ethos. For instance, if you think #JustDoIt, chances are, your brain goes to Nike.

From there, you can encourage your customers to include your hashtag in their social posts and reshare that user-generated content (UGC) on your channels.

You can also repurpose UGC for stories and other content. Incentivize users to share posts with your hashtag for discounts, contests, or just the opportunity of possibly featuring them on your platforms.

4. Clearly State Your Brand’s Purpose

You only have so many characters to work with in your Instagram bio. Use this space to clearly state what your small company does and be direct in your ask. For example:

  • Do you want to build a community? Include your branded hashtag and ask followers to use it.
  • Are you looking for newsletter subscribers? Include a link in your bio.
  • Are you looking to increase sales? Add a Linktree pointing to multiple product pages so users can find what they’re looking for.

Whatever your goal, be clear about it.

5. Include Links, Hashtags, and More

You have a hard stop when it comes to characters within the bio itself. However, there are options to expand on more details about your business and even cross-promote your other companies or personal pages. Consider including the following:

  • intentional calls to action (CTAs)
  • Instagram handles for your other related brands
  • your location and hours of operation if you own a physical store
  • your contact information
  • your branded hashtag
  • links to current promotions or contests
  • a Linktree (or similar) link leading readers to other content

Conclusion

The best Instagram bios authentically match your brand and serves your users.

Checking out the bios of the pages we’ve listed can help you get a feel for what’s working across the board. Also, see what your competitors are doing, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats.

Social media is an important aspect of digital marketing. Our agency can help if you are having trouble developing a social media strategy. We also offer assistance with content marketing and SEO.

Once you’ve polished your page, Instagram can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. So don’t skimp on putting the work into it.

What do you like about your favorite brands’ Instagram bios?

Business Funding Options

What are the Best Business Funding Options for Your Business?

Sample

What are All the Different Types of Business Funding Options?

There are several different types of business funding options out there.

The best way to start figuring out which choice is right for your business is to figure out what’s available. Did you know that traditional bank loans are not your only option?

Types of Business Funding Options

There are many more, including:

  • SBA loans
  • 401(k) financing
  • Merchant Cash Advances
  • Equipment Financing
  • The Credit Line Hybrid
  • Traditional Lines of Credit

Let’s dive in to each one and figure out which one is best for your business right now

Business Funding Options: SBA Loans

Guaranteed by the federal government. Issued by participating lenders, usually banks. They offer a lot of the perks of traditional loans, such as lower interest rates and favorable terms. Due to government guarantee, lenders are able to offer them to those with a lower credit score than would typically be required.

Eligibility for SBA Loans

Lenders and loan programs have unique eligibility requirements. In general, eligibility is based on what a business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership, and where the business operates. Hence even those with bad credit may qualify for startup funding.

Normally, businesses must meet size standards, be able to repay, and have a sound business purpose. The lender will provide you with a full list of eligibility requirements for your loan. See www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards.

More About Eligibility for SBA Loans

General eligibility also includes:

  • Being a for-profit business – the business must be officially registered and operating legally
  • Doing business in the US – the business must be physically located and operating in the US or its territories
  • Having vested equity – the owner must have invested their own time or money in the business
  • Exhausting other funding options – the business must not be able to get funds from any other financial lender

Ideal credit scores for an SBA loan are 680 or above. There are a number of SBA loan programs, each one designed to work for different needs and situations. Some of the most common SBA loan programs include:

  • 7(a) loans
  • 504 loans
  • Microloans
  • Disaster loans
  • Express loans

These are just a few the of the options available. Find out more at SBA.gov.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

Which SBA Loan is Best?

SBA loans each have a specific purpose. For example, if your business has suffered due to a natural disaster, you need a disaster loan. If you need $50,000 or less, a microloan may be the best option. But the 7(a) loan program is the most versatile.

SBA 7 (a) Loans

This the SBA’s most popular loan. The SBA guarantees 85% for loans up to $150,000, and 75% for loans greater than $150,000. The SBA makes the lending decision, but qualified lenders may be granted delegated authority to make credit decisions without SBA review.

SBA 7(a): Terms and Qualifying

The maximum amount on offer is $5 million. You will have to provide Articles of Organization, business licenses, documentation of lawsuits, judgments and bankruptcy or other pertinent documentation. Lenders are not required to take collateral for loans up to $25,000. For loans in excess of $350,000, the SBA requires that the lender collateralize the loan to the maximum extent possible up to the loan amount.

SBA 504 Loans

The SBA 504 loan program is an economic development loan program that offers small businesses an avenue for business financing, while promoting business growth, and job creation. This program provides approved small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization.

Use it to buy currently existing buildings, construct new buildings, and more. See sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ofa/resources/4049.

SBA 504: Terms and Qualifying

For corporations, anyone with a 20% ownership stake (or more) must fill out the application. This includes swearing they are not under indictment for any criminal offense. In general, the SBA provides 40% of the total project costs, a participating lender covers up to 50% of the total project costs, and the borrower contributes 10% of the project costs. Under certain circumstances, a borrower may be required to contribute up to 20% of the total project costs

Who Do SBA Loans Work Best For?

These loans work well for those that are not in a hurry to get funding

The approval and funding process can take a while, especially with the government red tape required for the government guarantee. If you can wait, meet all the requirements, and want a more traditional type of loan, SBA loans are an option.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

Business Funding Options: 401(k) Financing

If you have an eligible 401(k), you can use those funds to get money for your business. You can even still earn interest on your account, and there are no tax penalties. Personal credit doesn’t really matter much. Interest rates are usually low.

This is not a loan. You will not have to pay an early withdrawal fee or a tax penalty. You put the money back by contributing, just like with any 401(k) program. This means you won’t lose your retirement funds. This is a 401(k) Rollover for Working Capital program. The IRS calls it a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS).

Per the IRS, a ROBS qualified plan is a separate entity with its own set of requirements. The plan, through its company stock investments, rather than the individual owns the trade or business. Therefore, some filing exceptions for individuals may not apply to such a plan. This type of financing isn’t a loan against, your 401(k), so there’s no interest to pay. It does not use the 401(k) or stocks as collateral. Instead, this is simply a movement or change of custodian.

401(k) Financing Details

In fact, they are  often less than 5%. Close and fund in less than 3 weeks. Can usually get up to 100% of what’s “rollable” within your 401(k). This type of loan works well for anyone that has an eligible 401(k) account. Your 401(k) will need to have more than $35,000 in it. The 401(k) you use cannot be from a business where you are currently employed. So it will need to be from older employment. You cannot be currently contributing to it.

Business Funding Options: Merchant Cash Advances

Businesses that accept credit cards as a form of payment may qualify for a merchant cash advance. This means your business must have a merchant account in order to be able to accept credit card payments. Your business must bring in $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales. Typical approval is equal to one month’s credit processing volume. The minimum credit score is 500.

Merchant Cash Advances: Terms and Qualifying

A lender will review 3 months of bank and merchant account statements. They are looking for is consistent deposits. And they want to see deposits showing revenue is $50,000 or higher per year. They will also verify time in business of 6 months or more.

Lenders are also looking to see that you don’t have a lot of Non-Sufficient-Funds (NSFs) showing on your bank statements. They want to see you don’t have a lot of chargebacks on your merchant statements. And they want to see that you have more than 10 deposits in a month going into your bank account.

In essence, they want to see that you manage your bank and merchant accounts responsibly. And they want to see that have a decent number of consistent credit card transaction deposits each month.

Business Funding Options: Equipment Financing

Equipment financing is when you use a loan or lease to purchase or borrow hard assets for your business. It is a business financing option you can use to buy any physical asset. Physical assets can include items such as a restaurant oven or a company car. You will predictable amounts every month. You can build business credit on a program such as this.

Equipment Financing: Terms and Qualifying

All terms are for equipment financing through Credit Suite. Companies must have at least one year in business. You can get approved even with challenged credit. You won’t need financials to secure equipment financing. Approvals take as little as 24 hours.

Business Funding Options: Credit Line Hybrid

A credit line hybrid is a form of unsecured funding. Our credit line hybrid has an even better interest rate than a secured loan. Get some of the highest loan amounts and credit lines for businesses. Get 0% business credit cards with stated income. These report to business CRAs. You can build business credit at the same time. This will get you access to even more cash with no personal guarantee.

Credit Line Hybrid: Terms and Qualifying

You need a good credit score or a guarantor with good credit to get an approval (a FICO score of at least 680). No financials required. You can often get a loan of five times the amount of current highest revolving credit limit account. This is up to $150,000.

Who Does the Credit Line Hybrid Work Best For?

This is a good option for virtually everyone. Because even if you have bad credit, you can get funding by using a credit partner. Works especially well for those who need to build business credit.  See www.creditsuite.com/business-loans.

Demolish your funding problems with 27 killer ways to get cash for your business.

Business Funding Options: A Line of Credit from Fundbox

Fundbox will connect directly to your online accounting software. That’s all you need to do. You can get invoice financing or a line of credit. See fundbox.com.

Fundbox: Terms and Qualifying

Get a revolving line of credit for up to $150,000. Fundbox will auto debit your weekly payment from your bank account. You don’t need to show a minimum personal credit score, and you don’t need to show a minimum time in business.

Business Funding Options: Takeaways

There are a ton of choices for business financing. These merely scratch the surface. Contact us today to learn more.

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