Author: Ramona Delgadillo

New comment by devalchauhan in "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired? (May 2021)"

Name: Deval Chauhan

Experience: 11 years mobile exprience (3+ Flutter )

Location: Ahmedabad,India

Remote: Yes

Willing to relocate: No

Technologies: Flutter/Dart, Swift, Objective C

Resumé/CV: https://tinyurl.com/devalchauhan-resume

Email: er.devalchauhan@gmail.com

GitHub: https://github.com/devalchauhan

Etleap (YC W13) Is Hiring a Customer Success Manager

Who is Etleap? Etleap’s mission is to transform the way businesses drive analytics projects. We started Etleap out of frustration with the exorbitant amounts of engineering work required to set up, maintain, and scale data pipelines for analytics. Our vision is to make it simple for analytics teams to quickly and securely connect the data …

The post Etleap (YC W13) Is Hiring a Customer Success Manager first appeared on Online Web Store Site.

Is an SBA Startup Loan Right for You?

Whether you are thinking of starting a business in recession chaos or during economic Shangri-La, an SBA startup loan could be just what you need to get up and going.

All You Need to Know About Getting an SBA Startup Loan, and Other Options for Right Now

The Small Business Administration is in the news big time right now in relation to COVID-19 relief for businesses.  However, if you are looking to start a business, their SBA startup loan programs are still available.

SBA Startup Loans: Why SBA Loans?

SBA loans are small-business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.  The loans are issued by participating lenders, mostly banks. The  guarantee can go up to 85% of a loan of $150,000 or less, and loans that are more than $150,000 they will guarantee up to 75%.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans, even during a recession.

Who Qualifies for an SBA Startup Loan?

To be eligible for SBA Loans, you must meet certain qualifications. These include:

  • Your business must be for profit.
  • Your business must be inside the US.
  • Business owners must invest equity.
  • You must have exhausted all other financing options.
  • Your business must qualify as a small business.
  • Your business must be in an eligible industry.

Repaying an SBA Startup Loan

One perk of an SBA loan is that you get more time to pay it back than you would otherwise. According to the SBA, the terms depend on how you intend to use the funds.

For example, working capital loans, or funds you intend to use for daily operation, have a repayment term of seven years. However, funds for new equipment purchase have a term of 10 years, and real estate loan terms extend even longer to 25 years. Of course, the longer the term the lower the interest, which means lower regular payments.

How to Apply for an SBA Startup Loan

One of the downsides to SBA government loans is that they have a lengthy and somewhat complicated application process. There is a lot of red tape involved, but understandably so considering it is the federal government and they are guaranteeing a huge chunk of the loan.

Get Your Eggs in a Row

The first thing you have to do is gather the information you will need. This includes:

  • The SBA borrower loan information form
  • Statement of personal history
  • Personal financial statement
  • Personal income tax returns for the previous 3 years
  • Tax returns for the business for the previous 3 years
  • Business certificate or license
  • Business lease
  • Loan application history

This list, along with links to forms and templates, is available at SBA.gov. Once you have this information, you can start looking for a lender.

There may be more requirements based on your specific lender and what they deem necessary for your individual case. However, this is a general list to get you started.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans, even during a recession.

Find an SBA Partner Lender

There is more than one way to go about this. The first way is to contact your SBA district office. You can find contact information through the website. Another option is to use the SBA lender match option on the website.

All you have to do is enter some basic information about your business and how you plan to use the funds.  The tool then matches you with a list of potential lenders that could meet your needs.

Which Program Works Best for an SBA Startup Loan

Not all SBA loan programs work for startups.  These are your best options.

SBA Startup Loan: 7(a) Loans

This is a cornerstone program for the SBA.   It offers federally funded term loans of up to $5 million. Funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, and  working capital in addition to startup. Banks, credit unions, and other specialized institutions in partnership with the SBA process these loans and disburse the funds.

The minimum credit score to qualify is 680.  There is also a required down payment of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. If you are a startup, business experience equivalent to two years will serve this purpose.

SBA Startup Loan: 504 Loans

SBA loan Credit SuiteThese loans are also available up to $5 million.  Funds can be used to purchase machinery, facilities, or land. They are generally used for expansion.  Private sector lenders or nonprofits process and disburse funds. They work well for commercial real estate purchases especially.

Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years, and funding can take from 30 to 90 days. They require a minimum credit score of 680.  Collateral is the asset the funds are 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.

SBA Startup Loan: Microloans

Microloans are available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries, with financing coming directly from the Small Business Administration.

Interest rates on these loans are 7.75% to 8% above the lender’s cost to fund, and the terms go up to 6 years. They can take upwards of 90 days to fund. The minimum credit score is 640, and the collateral and down payment requirements vary by lender.

What If an SBA Startup Loan will Not Work?

What if, for some reason, an SBA startup loan will not work.  Maybe you need collateral and do not have it? Perhaps you would rather not deal with down payment requirements.  What if you need more funding? Here are some other options.

Alternative loans

These are loans that come through private lenders rather than banks.  Most  of these lenders operate online.  The process is fast and simple. Typically, borrowers fill out an application online.  Generally, they receive approval in as little as a few hours.  Once approved, funds are often in the borrower’s account in as little as a day or two.

This fast, easy process makes these alternative loans attractive for business funding.

Is There a Catch to Alternative Small Business Loans?

If these alternative loans are so fast and easy, why even bother with traditional loans or even an SBA startup loan?  There has to be some catch, right?.  The catch is, interest rates and terms are considerably less favorable than those you may get with a traditional lender.

That’s because, in an effort to extend credit to those that do not qualify with a bank, alternative lenders have to be a little more relaxed with their eligibility requirements. As a result, they are taking on significantly more risk with their loans.  To make up for this, they increase interest rates and loan terms to balance things out.

How do I Choose the Right Alternative Loan for Me?

Once you know you are in a position to need alternative small business loans, you can start looking for the right one for your situation. How do you do this?  The key is to research, research, research.  Extensive research is absolutely necessary to ensure you find the best fit for your business.

While many of them function the same with similar requirements, there are some vastly different and innovative platforms for these types of loans as well.  Read all the reviews, but don’t forget to look at the actual lender websites too.  Only you know your specific situation. Your credit score, how long you have been in business, and how much debt you can handle is information that you have at your disposal to help you make an informed decision..

How to Start Finding the Right Alternative Small Business Loans

Start by determining your eligibility factors.  You may not be able to anticipate what every single lender will require.  However, there are a few things that most lenders will want to know before approving a loan.  Things such as credit score, annual revenue, and length of time in business are pretty common.

If you know your score and what your annual revenue is before you begin looking for alternative small business loans, you will be able to weed out the ones you do not qualify for from the beginning. There are so many that you will definitely see the need to do this.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans, even during a recession.

Credit Line Hybrid

What if there were an option that allowed you to have an even better interest rate than a secured loan, and yet get the money faster and easier than any type of traditional funding.  What if you could get business funding without having to supply any bank statements or credit stubs? Imagine that you could get funding in a few days rather than weeks without supplying any collateral or documents? This is exactly the credit line hybrid allows you to do.

What is a Credit Line Hybrid?

A credit line hybrid is basically revolving, unsecured financing.  It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.

What are the Qualifications?

How hard is it to qualify?  Not as hard as you may think.  You do need good personal credit.  That is, your personal credit score should be at least 685.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Also, in the past 6 months, you should have less than 5 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, all is not lost. 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?

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.  One other benefit is this.  With the approval for multiple credit cards, competition is created.  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.

Make Sure You’re Eligible for SBA Startup Loans and All Other Financing Options

The key to ensuring you can get the funding you need for your business when you need it is to make sure your business is fundable.  Most people think of credit score when they think of fundability, but there is so much more to it than that. Fundability is made of many pieces, and they all have to be in place for things to work the way you need them too.  If your fundability is in order, getting an SBA startup loan, or any other kind of loan, will likely never be a problem.

The post Is an SBA Startup Loan Right for You? appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Use Quizzes in Your Marketing Strategy

quizzes in marketing

Using quizzes in your marketing strategy is one of the most underrated marketing moves.

Seriously. 

They are incredibly effective at generation leads, engaging your audience, and much more.

But, it isn’t enough for me to just convince you to implement quizzes in your marketing strategy, so I’m going to show you exactly how to create an effective quiz, how to distribute it, and how to follow it up with marketing automation.

At the end, we’ll cover several brands successfully using quizzes in their marketing strategy so you can walk away with a little more insight.

Part I: Creating Your Quiz

There’s more to a quiz than you might actually think. Did you know that six out of ten people only read a headline? That means we’re going to have to make a pretty good first impression, so let’s talk about the title first.

Title Selection & Quiz Types

The very first step to creating a quiz would be coming up with the title for it. Once you’ve got that down, you’re going to want to figure out what type of quiz you want to make.

Here are a few of the most common quiz titles;

  • The “Actually” Title: Believe it or not, adding the word “actually” can turn a simple question into a challenge. Compare “How much do you know about the Golden State Warriors” against “How much do you actually know about the Golden State Warriors” and you’ll see what we mean. No one likes to back down from a challenge, right?
  • “The Which (Blank) Are You?” Title: This one’s a classic. Due to our innate inquisitive nature, sometimes we just have to know which Marvel superhero we are before we die. It’s just one of those things we have to cross off our bucket list.
  • The “Celebrity Personality” Title: This is your typical personality quiz with the substitution of celebrities to give it that added pizazz. Because of the use of celebrities, they’re more likely to get someone’s attention sheerly through being starstruck.
which-wrestling-team-mate-are-you-quiz

Choosing The Quiz Type

The quiz titles above will give you a few ideas of quiz types, but here’s a few more to consider:

  • The Personality Quiz – We like to hear good things about ourselves, so because of the “self-serving bias,” personality quizzes work so well. This type of quiz categorizes people into personalities that compliment them based on their answers. If you’re a brand that focuses on product sales, you could use a personality quiz to place individuals into categories with personalized product recommendations based on the answers they gave.
  • The Knowledge Test: The knowledge test simply challenges anyone’s knowledge on a given subject. You could ask your audience how much they know about your brand, the products it offers, or any of today’s trending topics.

Crafting Quiz Questions

Now that you’ve got a general idea of what kind of quiz you want to create along with a title to go with it, it’s time to bring it to life by filling it up with questions!

Here are some things to keep in mind when formulating your questions:

  • Infuse Personality into Your Quiz: Breathe some life into your quiz by injecting your personality into it. Approach your audience as if you were talking to them in person. Make your audience feel comfortable so that they’ll be more likely to opt-in later.
  • Use Images for Your Questions: There’s nothing wrong with having text-only questions, but don’t be afraid to use images either. Using pictures keeps things interesting and relevant, it also makes your quiz feel more like a trivia game.
  • Keep It Short: People don’t have the longest attention spans, so keep things simple and sweet. Aim between 6 to 10 questions for your quiz, in general, this will only take your audience about two to three minutes to complete.

Designing A Lead Capture: Do’s and Don’t’s

After coming up with the questions for your quiz, it’s time to create a lead capture form. The purpose of lead capture is to gather contact information so that you can grow an email list.

You can then follow these leads up through marketing automation, which we’ll get into later. For now, here are some helpful do’s and don’t’s you should follow when creating your lead capture:

Do: Incentivize Your Lead Capture Form

Give your audience a reason to provide you with their contact information. Offer incentives like a free eBook or an entry to a free giveaway. Standard incentives include infrequent updates about your brand or a weekly newsletter. Find what works best to encourage your audience to join your mailing list.

Don’t: Ask For Information You Won’t Use

What’s the point in asking your audience for their phone number if you aren’t going to call them? Make sure you only ask for information that your brand will use; the most basic being a first and last name, and an email address.

Otherwise, you risk annoying your audience and having them bounce from your quiz.

Do: Be Honest About Your Marketing Strategy

It won’t always be clear to your audience that after you get their contact information, you’ll be contacting them. It’s a good rule of thumb to let your audience know that you’ll be getting in touch with them soon, so don’t be all hush-hush about your marketing strategy.

Be honest with your audience. Give them a quick heads up about what’s to come, like this:

Creating Shareable Results

Now onto the results! This is the moment your audience has been waiting for. You want to make sure your results are something they’re going to like and share with others, so creating share-worthy results will be your priority.

Here are a couple of pointers that will help you create results worth sharing:

  • Be Honest and Positive: Positive emotions are more likely to promote sharing, so create results that compliment your audience into sharing what they got. At the same time, be honest with your results. Don’t tell your audience that they’re something they aren’t.
  • Use Share-Worthy Images: Just like how we used images for your questions, we’re going to want to make sure we use images for your results. This time around, you want to use some pretty interesting pictures; ones that are worth sharing. This is what’s going to attract attention when people share their results on social media.
  • Create A Call-To-Action: Don’t let your interaction with the audience end at the results. Provide a call-to-action for your audience. It can be something as simple as a link to your website, or maybe even personalized links to product recommendations.
tony-ramos-wreslter-quiz-result

Part II: Distributing Your Quiz

Now it’s time to put your quiz through the ultimate test by promoting it on social media. Your major outlets for social networks would be Facebook and Twitter, but if you wanted to take it a bit further, you can also use paid advertising on Facebook to give your quiz that extra boost.

Share Your Quiz on Facebook and Twitter

When sharing your quiz on Facebook or Twitter, be sure you check off each of these to get the most out of promoting your quiz:

  • Be sure to use an attractive image to represent your quiz.
  • Make sure you have a captivating headline for your quiz.
  • Share both the image and the caption with a shortened link to track results.
red-lobster-quiz-facebook-ad

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Paid Advertising on Facebook

The process of promoting your quiz through Facebook via paid advertising can be a fairly lengthy operation, so to save you guys some time, we’ve truncated the whole process into a more time-friendly summary.

  • Selecting Your Target Audience: You have your choices of selecting a target audience by location, demographics, behaviors, and connections. You can even break these categories down even further. Let’s take location for example. We can narrow down the location to country, state/province, city, and zip code. Why would we want to do this? Maybe your brand wants to target an audience within its immediate vicinity. We don’t know. It’s up to you how you want to set the parameters for your target audience. So give it a try.
  • Creating A Custom Audience: Creating a custom audience consists of working with a list you’ve uploaded ahead of time. Facebook then generates an audience based on that list of previous customers you’ve already worked with.

Part III: Marketing Automation Follow-Ups

Here’s the fun part: following up on the leads you’ve collected. With the help of marketing automation, this may not take as much effort on your end as you might’ve thought.

We’re going to follow-up on your leads the very moment people opt-in, and in the course of two weeks, we’re going to show you how to nurture these leads until you can finally convert them into paying customers.

Here’s a four-step sequence that your marketing automation email follow-ups should live and die by:

Thank Your Audience for Taking Your Quiz First

Immediately after someone opts-in, send him or her an email that telling them “Thank you for taking our quiz!” This will remind your audience that they’ve opted-in, and it’ll also help assert your brand. It’ll give people a head’s up that you’ll be getting in touch with them soon.

Encourage Your Audience to Retake Your Quiz

After a couple of days, we’re going to pick up where your audience left off: their quiz results. Inform your audience about the other results they could have gotten. This may prompt your audience to retake your quiz, and maybe to even share their new results.

This is the perfect transition from your “thank you” email to sending out different content.

Build Trust with Case Studies or Testimonials

After a week, now would be a good time to build trust between you and your leads. Introduce testimonials or customer case studies to familiarize your audience with your brand and what other people think about it. This not only makes your brand look good, but it also lets your audience get more comfortable with who your brand is and what it stands for.

Convert Your Leads into Paying Customers

After two weeks, it’s time to convert those leads. Your audience should be familiar with your brand by now. Use incentives, like a webinar signup or coupons and discounts to encourage your leads to buy into your brand.

The rest is up to you and your expertise in converting leads into customers. These marketing automation follow-ups did most of the work for you, so it’s your turn to close the deal.

Part IV: Examples of Quiz-Use in Every Industry

It’s time to take a quick look at several examples of brands from different industries and how they implemented quizzes in their marketing strategy. Seeing these examples should give you a solid foundation when it comes to considering the use of quizzes in your own marketing strategy.

Retail: Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie is known for its commitment to providing furnishings, art, and accessories to both professional and amateur interior designers alike. They created the quiz “What is your Z Gallerie Style Personality?” to provide a personalized experience for every potential and current customer.

zgallerie-style-personality-quiz

Z Gallerie used a personality quiz as a way of bringing results that offered personalized product recommendations as a part of their marketing strategy. This method brought in a massive amount of leads per day which they followed-up with marketing automation.

It allowed Z Gallerie to continually recommend products tailored specifically to each person based on their individual quiz results. Now that’s online shopping done right.

Software: Cloud Sherpas

Cloud Sherpas specialized in cloud advisory and technology services for the world’s leading brands. (They’ve since been acquired by Accenture.)

Cloud Sherpas used their quiz to gauge each individual’s level of maturity, which helped determine the more qualified leads for their marketing strategy. They also promoted their blog on Facebook with the quiz attached.

cloud sherpa marketing quizzes example

Cloud Sherpas’ quiz brings in 3-4 qualified leads a day. Nothing like quality over quantity, am I right?

Marketing: The Foundation

The Foundation focuses on building businesses with entrepreneurs through the idea of building backward. It’s an incredibly interesting concept, and with it, they created the quiz “Do You Have An Entrepreneurial Mind?” based on an existing eBook they had which covered the basic types of business owners.

The Foundation used a quiz in its marketing strategy by pairing it with a Facebook ad campaign. This combination was able to cut their cost per lead from $6.00 to $3.80, and collected over 16,000 leads and millions in revenue. That’s quite the turnout if you ask us.

question-about-your-type-email

Nonprofit: Pin Cancer

Pin Cancer’s call-to-action is the rallying of the US wrestling community to fight against, you guessed it: cancer. Their noble efforts have prompted the aid of their quiz “Which USA World Team Member Are You?” as a means of driving social traffic and raising awareness on cancer.

On a site that normally sees 200 visits per day, Pin Cancer had the best day ever when their quiz went up, driving social traffic up to 6,000 in a single day and bringing in 3,800 new email subscribers. Talk about turning the tables on cancer!

Conclusion

Who knew implementing quizzes into your online marketing strategy could be so effective? We’ve just covered a lot of material, but hopefully, you got a lot out of it.

Just to recap, we went over the entire quiz creation process, so you should be familiar with how to create your own quiz by now. Distributing your quiz will really put it to the test, but as soon as you generate those leads, you know exactly how to nurture them until conversion.

Don’t let quizzes fly under your radar any longer; try using them in your marketing strategy to see just how far your brand can get.

Have you used quizzes in your marketing strategy? What were the results? 

The post How to Use Quizzes in Your Marketing Strategy appeared first on Neil Patel.

New comment by martinbeta1 in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (September 2020)"

Prisma | Senior Product Manager | Remote or Berlin | Full-Time
Apply here: https://grnh.se/0b8ad4fe2us

Requirements:
– 3+ Years XP as Product Manager or related position
– At least some experience working as Engineer in BE Applications
– Some first-hand experience working with Databases.
– Some experience working in SaaS B2B environment.