Tag: Address

The Disadvantages of Working from Home: 5 Things to Consider When Using Your Home Address for Your Business

Working from home has many advantages. One of the easiest ways to start a business is to start it from your own home.  It’s the most natural way to start for many.  Whether you are baking, woodworking, offering a service, or anything else, doing so out of your house has many advantages. What isn’t discussed as often are the disadvantages of working from home. 

5 Surprising Disadvantages of Working from Home

Most business owners just assume that if they are running their business from home, their home address and their business address will be one and the same.  That’s fine, but what if you decide to move out of your home?  Changing business address can cause issues. This is just one of many surprising disadvantages of working from home.

Disadvantages of Working from Home #1:  Your Home May Not Be Conducive to Productive Work

A home may not necessarily be well equipped to handle working. You need a workspace that will help you be productive.  This will be different for everyone.  But, consider that you at least need a room with a door you can close.  Drawing boundaries between home life and work life can be hard.

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

Managing time can be harder when working from home as well. It can be easy to work all day when you are at home, or not work enough due to “home” distractions. It’s hard to get people to respect your time and boundaries. Also, isolation and depression are not uncommon. 

Disadvantages of Working from Home #2: You May Not Be Allowed to Run Your Business From Your Home

In some situations, you may not be allowed to run your business from your home. If you rent, you will need to check your lease to make sure there are no issues. Whether you rent or own, you need to check zoning requirements. Also, agencies like the Health Department and the FDA have guidelines related to running certain types of businesses from your home. 

Disadvantages of Working from Home #3: Home Address on Public Record

Many people worry about their home address as their business address.  They feel it is unsafe, so they turn to a PO Box or an UPS Box. However, that can make it difficult to get funding.  Lenders require a physical address.  

This is a unique disadvantage of home-based businesses.  Even home based businesses need funding for a number of things: 

  • Supplies
  • Inventory
  • Equipment (for jewelry making, woodworking, computer/ office equipment, etc.)
  • Even working capital

One option is to use a virtual address.  Be aware however, that some lenders will not accept those either.  The truth is, if someone wants to find your home address, it’s easy enough regardless of whether you use it as your business address or not.  In the end, to get funding for your business you are going to need to use a physical business address where you an receive mail.

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

Disadvantages of Working from Home #4: Changing Your Business Address Later Can Cause Problems

You may think you can get by with using your personal address now, and just change it later. That’s not a good idea. If you think about it, your business address goes everywhere.  For example: 

  • All legal documents
  • Licences
  • Marketing materials
  • Your website
  • Insurance papers
  • Everywhere!

The longer you wait, the more places you will have to remember to change it. It is a bigger deal than you may think if you miss one. If lenders start looking into your business and see your business address is listed differently in different places, it can cause unnecessary issues. It brings up fraud concerns. 

A bank will not take the time to try to figure out all the different ways a business may be listed. Even something as simple as using Street vs St, or using an ampersand in one spot and the word “and” in another can cause issues. So you can imagine using your home address in one spot and a separate business address in another will definitely cause problems. 

That doesn’t mean that if you move your business out of your home you have to keep your home address.  Just be aware that you will need to make sure the address is changed everywhere.  

Disadvantages of Working from Home #5: Legal Issues

There are a number of legal considerations that you have to think about when it comes to running a home based business. For example, even if zoning laws allow you to run your business from your home. You need to check out what requirements those laws lay out. Some cities have regulations regarding foot traffic. Some even regulate yard sign use for advertising. And if you have an Homeowners Association (HOA) you may need their permission as well.

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

Some cities limit the number of employees a home based business can have. Some even regulate the number of customers that can come to your door. You’ll need to check with your local city officials to determine what if any regulations apply to you. And figure out what licences and permits you need to operate.

Consider the tax issues as well. While you can deduct some expenses when it comes to home-based businesses, it can get complicated. You need to make sure you thoroughly understand the home business deduction on the front end and plan accordingly. 

Insurance needs to be considered as well. If you have employees or customers coming in and out, you need to think about what would happen if they were injured. Will homeowners’ insurance cover it? Often you will need to purchase a separate policy or a rider. All insurance needs to be in place on the front end.  Be sure it has the proper business address on it!

Avoid Many Disadvantages of Working From Home 

Nothing is perfect. Running a business from your home is no different. However, you can avoid many of the disadvantages of working from home by building fundability from the beginning.  Not only will it help with legal issues, but it makes a bigger difference than you may think when it comes to funding.  

The best way to start building fundability, whether you own a home-based business or run a business from a different location, is to work with a business credit expert. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The post The Disadvantages of Working from Home: 5 Things to Consider When Using Your Home Address for Your Business appeared first on Credit Suite.

The post The Disadvantages of Working from Home: 5 Things to Consider When Using Your Home Address for Your Business appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

Virtual Business Address

What is a Virtual Business Address, and Can it Help with Fundability?

A virtual business address is when you pay for a separate address for your company. But, for the most part, you don’t do business there.

Business Credit

Business credit is credit in the name of a business. Correctly built, it doesn’t have anything to do with its owner’s personal credit. With business credit, a business owner can get:

  • Vendor credit cards
  • High-limit accounts with most major retailers
  • Fleet credit
  • Cash credit including Visa and MasterCard

You can get approval for business credit accounts regardless of personal credit quality. When you build business credit the right way, there is no personal credit pull. Building business credit depends on payment history more than anything else.

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

Fundability

Fundability is the ability of a business to be funded. This means, in essence, a business’s chances of getting money. This is money from lenders and credit providers. Building fundability goes hand in hand – and starts – the process of business credit building.

Some fundability elements are impossible to control, like your time in business. But others can be controlled by the ownership. This includes your business address.

Building Strong Fundability

There are a few things you can do to help lenders see your business as one that is fundable. It all starts with how you set up your business. It has to be set up in a very specific way to build fundability. Each step is vital, and if you miss one, it could do more harm that you may think.

Setting Up Your Business to Be Fundable to a Lender

The goal is to make your business a separate, stand alone, fundable entity apart from the owner, and to remove any doubts that it might not be. First, your business has to have separate contact information. This includes a business phone number, address, and email address.

Incorporating

Your business won’t be a separate legal entity from you unless you incorporate. Corporations need to have addresses, and it’s best for your corporation’s address to be in the same state where it’s incorporated. This is better for fundability.

Your Business Address

Your business address is one of the first elements of fundability you should be setting up. Why? Because a lot of the subsequent paperwork you’ll need to fill out will call for your business address. This paperwork is everything from your EIN application to applying for business licenses.

You want all of your business’s paperwork to be right. So if you don’t have a separate address from the very start, you’re only going to have to change it later. And that means everywhere!

Getting a Separate Business Address

Just like a business phone number, your address will go on marketing materials, loan applications, and more. A residential address for a retail establishment can potentially get it flagged as un-established. The same is true if you use a UPS box or PO box. You need a brick and mortar address.

It has to be a place where mail can be delivered. Lenders, credit providers and more will check out your business on Google Street View. If they spot it’s a residential address, then a retail business could be inviting denials. And there’s no good reason to do so!

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

Using a Virtual Business Address as a Separate Business Address

A virtual office is a great solution. It’s far less expensive than renting office space. Here are three virtual office providers we love:

  • Alliance
  • Da Vinci
  • Regus

What is a Virtual Business Office?

According to Wikipedia: “A virtual office is part of the flexible workspace industry that provides businesses with any combination of services, space and/or technology, without those businesses bearing the capital expenses of owning or leasing a traditional office.”

You can often get a great city address. There can be workspaces if you need to use them. And you might get access to conference rooms. Some plans include receptionists. A small business does not have to look small.

Get a Virtual Business Address with Regus

Regus offers:

    • Meeting rooms
    • Drop-in business lounges where you can work if you have a long layover during travel
    • A membership plan
    • Mail forwarding and handling

Options from Regus include furnished offices with high-speed internet. These can be co-working spaces or window offices or interior. Call for pricing on office suites. Co-working spaces cost the least.

They have a presence around the world. Their more popular non-US locations are in several European countries. Costs vary.

Get a Virtual Business Address from Alliance

Alliance offers:

    • A live receptionist
    • Meeting rooms
    • An office address
    • Optional mail forwarding
    • Local or toll-free business number
    • Unlimited local and long distancing calling
    • Voicemail by email, custom greetings, an online control panel, etc.

They have a presence around the world. Their more popular non-US locations are in Mexico, the UAE, the UK, and the Netherlands. Costs for Alliance will run from $125 to $500.

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

Consider a Virtual Business Address through Davinci

Davinci offers:

    • Live receptionists for hire
    • Live web chat services
    • Meeting rooms
    • Event spaces
    • An office address

They have a presence around the world. Their more popular non-US locations are in Mexico, countries in Europe, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Brazil. Costs for Davinci addresses will vary.

What if Your Area Doesn’t Have Alliance, Regus, or Davinci Where You Can Get a Virtual Business Address?

You may need to improvise. Consider talking with local business owners. Find out what they do. Perhaps there are shared spaces. Or your fellow local business owners may even be interested in going in with you on a shared space. Will never, ever hurt to ask.

It might be fruitful to talk to local computer user groups too. Or you can consider going out of state if you are near a border. For example, Alexandria, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland are less than 50 miles from each other. So in some cases you may have more options, just by looking past the border.

Fundability Also Means Consistency in Business Information and Fraud Concerns

When addresses do not match, business credit providers and lenders will interpret that to be fraud. Unfortunately, this is regardless of your personal ethics or intentions.

Think about phone numbers, addresses, and even your business email address. Has your business address changed, or have you opened a new location?

You have to make certain any new addresses are listed on all documents. This includes:

    • Insurance papers
    • Business licenses
    • Fictitious business name documents (if your business is a DBA)
    • Incorporation papers
    • Everything!

This is the case whether your business address is virtual or not.

Your Virtual Business Address: Takeaways

A separate business address is ultimately more professional. It’s also more fundable, giving lenders and credit providers a more positive feeling that your business will be able to pay its debts. In turn, that means it’s more likely that you’ll get loans and credit.

The post Virtual Business Address appeared first on Credit Suite.

The Annoying Truth: How Your Phone Number and Email Address Can Get You Business Loan Denials in a Recession

Getting Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Maybe it’s Your Business Phone Number and Email Address

When you are first starting out, setting up your business can seem daunting. You may be sorely tempted to just do something, anything, in order to be done with it already. But in a bad economy, that can be disastrous. It can lead to business loan denials in a recession.

So don’t! Setup is important.  And your business can suffer if you do not take proper steps in the very beginning.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Your Phone Number is Key

Lenders perceive an 800 Number or toll-free phone numbers (such as with other legitimate area codes) as a sign of business credibility. Even if you are a single owner with a business based out of your home, a toll-free telephone number gives forth the perception that you are an even bigger company.

It is incredibly easy and inexpensive to set-up a virtual local phone number or one or more toll free 800 telephone numbers.

A cell or home phone number as your main business line could get you flagged as an un-established entity. Do not give a personal cell phone or residential phone as your business phone number.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Better Pay Attention to Directory Setup

With your brand new phone number in hand, what is the next step? You need to get it listed with 411. Why do you need this? It is because that kind of listing instantly builds and demonstrates business credibility. This is along with a professional website and a physical business address, plus any necessary licensure.

Your phone number must have a listing with 411 for most credit issuers and lenders to approve you. Check your record to determine if your small business has a listing. And make sure that your information is accurate. You can check here: ListYourself.net. If your business does not have a listing, List Yourself, Yext, D&B Credit Builder can help you get your business a listing.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Better Check Your Business Email Address

First, you will need to set up a website. Not to worry; these go hand in hand.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Then Spruce Up Your Business Website

Credit providers will research your company on the internet. It is in your best interests if they learned everything directly from your company website. This is a lot better than if they learn it from a competitor or from Yelp or any other ratings site. While you do need a presence on Yelp, it should not be your only web presence.

Not having a company website will severely hurt your small business’s chances of getting business credit or loans. By using places like TemplateMonster.com and Upwork.com, you can get a site up cheaply and quickly. And it will look decent, from the very beginning.

You will eventually want someone to design your site, particularly if you are not artistically inclined or you are not too savvy with this, or you just do not have the time. But for your business as you are getting up to speed, having a business website which looks good will go a long way.

And make sure you purchase hosting. Using a free WordPress site via WordPress (so the URL for your business would look something like yourbusiness.wordpress.com) does not inspire confidence in lenders. You can get your website hosted by a hosting company like Go Daddy or Host Gator.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? With Your Own Website, Now You Can Get a Business Email Address!

This is because it is important to get a company email address for your business. This will usually come with your website domain. And it is either a small additional fee or your hosting provider will kick it in with your package. This is not only professional; it also greatly helps your chances of getting the thumbs up from a credit provider. Do not use a Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, or similar type of email for your business.

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? Then Build Business Credit as an Alternative

Business credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t link to an owner’s consumer credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the only employee of the company.

Accordingly, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

The Advantages

Given that small business credit is distinct from personal, it helps to safeguard a small business owner’s personal assets, in case of legal action or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two separate credit scores, a small business owner can get two different cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another advantage is that even startup companies can do this. Visiting a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration. But building small business credit, when done the right way, is a plan for success.

Personal credit scores are dependent on payments but also various other factors like credit utilization percentages.

But for company credit, the scores really merely depend on whether a small business pays its bills timely.

The Process

Establishing company credit is a process, and it does not occur without effort. A small business will need to actively work to establish business credit.

Nonetheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much speedier than developing personal credit scores.

Vendors are a big component of this process.

Doing the steps out of order will cause repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with company credit. For instance, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.

Small Business Fundability

A small business must be fundable to credit issuers and merchants.

Due to this fact, a company will need to have all of the things already mentioned. These include a professional-looking website and email address, and website hosting. The same is true for the toll-free company telephone  numbers and their listing on ListYourself.net.

A company will also need a bank account dedicated strictly to it, and it must have every one of the licenses necessary for running.

Licenses

These licenses all have to be in the exact, appropriate name of the small business. And they must have the same company address and telephone numbers.

So bear in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

Working with the Internal Revenue Service

Visit the IRS web site and get an EIN for the business. They’re totally free. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A business can get started as a sole proprietor. But they will most likely wish to change to a type of corporation or an LLC.

This is to limit risk. And it will make the most of tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it pertains to taxes and liability in case of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.

Sole Proprietors Take Note

If you operate a small business as a sole proprietor, then at least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.

If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the small business name. Hence, you can wind up being personally liable for all business debts.

Also, according to the Internal Revenue Service, with this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 chance of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 probability for corporations! Prevent confusion and dramatically decrease the odds of an Internal Revenue Service audit at the same time.

Treat any DBA filing as a steppingstone to incorporating.

Instigating the Business Credit Reporting Process

Start at the D&B website and obtain a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a business into their system, to generate a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s websites for the small business. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

In this manner, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.

Vendor CreditBusiness Loan Denials in a Recession Credit Suite

First you ought to establish trade lines that report. This is also called vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can start to get retail and cash credit.

These varieties of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first of all, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you initial credit when you have none now. You won’t be denied. Terms are normally Net 30, instead of revolving.

Therefore, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you will need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.

Store Credit

Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to store credit. These are companies like Office Depot and Staples.

Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the company’s EIN on these credit applications.

Fleet Credit

Are there more accounts reporting? Then move onto fleet credit. These are companies like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to purchase fuel, and to fix and maintain vehicles. Only use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the company’s EIN.

Cash Credit

Have you been responsibly managing the credit you’ve up to this point? Then move onto more universal cash credit. These are businesses like Visa and MasterCard. Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.

These are usually MasterCard credit cards. If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are in reach.

Find out why so many companies are using our proven methods to improve their business credit scores, even during a recession.

Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and fix any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of checking credit reports. Dig into the particulars, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less.

Update Your Record

Update the relevant information if there are inaccuracies or the information is incomplete.

Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any inaccuracies in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs often want you to dispute in a particular way.

Disputing credit report errors generally means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any evidence of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always mail copies and retain the originals.

Fixing credit report mistakes also means you precisely detail any charges you dispute. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

A Word about Building Business Credit

Always use credit smartly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Keep an eye on balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off promptly and completely will do more to boost business credit scores than almost anything else.

Growing business credit pays. Great business credit scores help a small business get loans. Your lender knows the business can pay its financial obligations. They know the business is bona fide.

The business’s EIN connects to high scores and lending institutions won’t feel the need to demand a personal guarantee.

Business credit is an asset which can help your business for many years to come.

Business Loan Denials in a Recession? What Your Lender Thinks

Consider the lender’s perspective. They want assurances that you will pay your bills on time and will not skip town. Without a listed phone number, or a professional email address, they will see you as fly by night. You definitely do not want that. Your phone number and email address can lead to business loan denials in a recession. Or you can make them work for you.

 

The post The Annoying Truth: How Your Phone Number and Email Address Can Get You Business Loan Denials in a Recession appeared first on Credit Suite.

How to Find Any Business Email Address

The internet has made communication between businesses more accessible than ever. Collaboration and outreach can often be done with the touch of a button.

But sometimes, finding the email address of someone you’d like to communicate with can be such a hassle.

Getting someone’s contact info doesn’t have to be a headache. Today, I’ll show you how to get anyone’s business email address and teach you how to follow up with them effectively.

All it takes is a simple tool.

Why Would You Need to Find Someone’s Email Address?

You probably know sending unsolicited spam is a terrible idea. So what reason would you have to go tracking down someone’s email address?

Perhaps you need to get in direct contact with someone hard to reach like a CEO, manager, or investor. Maybe you’re trying to recruit a specialist or subject matter expert for contract work. Or you’re trying to get the email of a website or blog owner as a part of a link reclamation strategy.

Some of the examples listed above are forms of email prospecting, the process of researching and connecting with potential leads. Usually, the goal is to get a sale. But you may be after some other benefit like a review, information, or a collaboration.

While people can use the tools we discuss in this article for nefarious purposes, like sending unwanted spam, there are very legitimate reasons to track down someone’s email address.

Rather than waiting around for people to visit your site and reach out, you’re taking matters into your own hands. When done well, it can be one of the best ways to engage with leads and collaborators.

Cold outreach is a contentious subject, but it can be quite useful if you know what you’re doing. The problem is, most marketers are doing it wrong.

Don’t want to be one of them? Keep reading.

How Not to Use Email Search

While there are legitimate reasons to use email search, you’ll want to tread carefully to ensure you’re not sending spam.

What’s the big deal? Well, it could impact your email deliverability. If your domain gets reported frequently, even your legitimate messages will go straight to your target’s spam folder.

And in some countries, it’s downright illegal. In the US, due to the CAN-SPAM Act, it could get your business fined up to $43,280 for each spam email. That’s enough to put almost any small business into bankruptcy.

On top of these consequences, being spammy is going to get your messages ignored. It doesn’t work.

Cold emails and spam are very different things. Spam is an “unsolicited bulk email.” Cold outreach is identified by its personalization and relationship building.

Of course, it’s very easy to cross this line, so make sure you’re not breaking the CAN-SPAM Act.

  • If your message includes simple correspondence rather than an advertisement, only the following applies: Don’t use deceptive subject lines or To/From headers.
  • If it is an ad, identify it as such and include a way to opt-out of future emails.
  • Remove anyone who opts out from any mailing lists within ten days. (Better yet, don’t add people to your mailing lists without their permission.)
  • Include a physical address where you can be contacted.

This step also builds trust with users as they know the reason behind your email and how they can contact you to not receive more email if needed.

Don’t Just Advertise

It’s better to use email search to make meaningful connections with other businesses. Don’t use it solely to advertise, as it could turn your the people you’re trying to contact away.

If you’re sending the same carbon copy email to dozens of people, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s not the vest idea to buy email lists. While it may not be technically illegal, doing so may violate CAN-SPAM. It’s an easy way to get your domain blacklisted.

No one likes receiving unsolicited advertisements. All it does is ruin your reputation for a nominal clickthrough rate.

Instead of sending annoying spam and ensuring potential leads ignore you, let’s learn how to do it right.

Finding Your Target’s Email Address

First step: getting your prospect’s email.

How are we going to do that? It’s simple: with an email finder. When you can’t locate someone’s contact info, these tools are a lifesaver.

All you have to do is input someone’s name or website URL, and you instantly get their email. Sometimes these are scraped from the web. Other times, they are a guess based on other employees’ emails.

The Best Email Finders

It’s important to choose a reliable service, as high bounce rate affects your deliverability. One I recommend is Hunter because it’s easy to use and you get fifty free searches per month.

Hunter’s domain search product gives you access to the emails behind a website, while the Email Finder product gets you any person’s contact info. Let’s try it.

Visit the Email Finder page and type in the name of your prospect and their company’s domain. The results will pop up immediately.

hunter email finder

One cool thing you’ll notice is Hunter cites its sources. You can see where the suggestion came from and check yourself to ensure the information is correct.

It’s good to try out a range of email finders, as they may have different contact info. So if Hunter isn’t helping, FindThatLead and VoilaNorbert are two other services worth trying.

FindThatLead is made for B2B companies. With this tool, you can find leads, search by audience segment, or get someone’s email through social media.

findthatlead email finder

FindThatLead’s Email Sender is a great extra feature. It handles email automation for you and helps you build a campaign targeting the leads you gather.

VoilaNorbert brings a more sophisticated touch to email search. It’s not just a simple tool you plug a domain into; it’s a full service with bulk actions, integrations, and an API.

It runs primarily on a subscription model, but you can also buy one-use credits. Signing up gets you fifty leads for free.

Hunter is perfect if you need a simple email finder. FindThatLead is great for B2B businesses, and VoilaNorbert offers you a full suite of products that are worth the price tag.

Other Ways to Get a Prospect’s Email Address

Before you spend money on a tool you may not need, you might want to consider other ways of obtaining a prospect’s email.

First up: Google your prospect’s name and check if they have a personal website. Chances are, you can find their email on their site’s “About” page, or at least a “Contact” form. If you’re after someone who’s part of a company, you could also try using their business’ contact form on their site and ask to get connected to them.

Check their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. If you’re lucky, their email will be right there in their bio.

You can also try Twitter Advanced Search.

Add your prospect’s Twitter name under “Accounts,” then try words like “contact,” “reach,” “email,” and “dot.”

Try ticking “Only show replies.” You’ll skip the irrelevant posts and get straight to previous contact requests.

Let’s see it in action with my Twitter profile.

find email twitter advanced search

There’s my email. Easy as that.

Reaching Out and Getting a Response

Cold emailing can make establishing the new relationship more difficult. Because it’s unsolicited, you’ll need to clearly state why you’re emailing them right off the bat.

You don’t want to blow it before you’ve even started, so let’s make sure you’re doing it right.

Use Templates as Inspiration

Below I provide some examples and templates you can use for your email sending. You can find plenty of others online, too.

But I don’t recommend copying and pasting your email to multiple prospects. People will see right through you if your emails aren’t personalized.

Templates are a good way to get an idea of what you should be doing. But sending impersonal, carbon copy emails to dozens of people usually won’t get many responses, as most email readers know how to spot something that isn’t personalized to them.

Use a template as a base, then build on it for your business’ needs.

Personalize Your Cold Outreach Email

Personalizing your emails is the best way to increase engagement. And it’s especially important when conducting cold outreach.

How do you personalize your email? Do your research! Subscribe to your prospect’s newsletter, read their articles, skim their books, etc. Find a conversation starter and something to leverage to get their attention.

Here’s an example:

Hey {name},

I just read your book {book title}, and it was insightful. {Mention something specific you liked about it.}

I run a {industry} business, and I still have some questions. Mind if I send them your way?

Thanks,

{your name}

You can also just include the questions in the email.

Another way to personalize your cold email is by bringing up a clear pain point you know your target is experiencing. Example:

Hi,

I was browsing your website, and I noticed a few typos. {Link to page and description of the errors.}

I work for {company}. We provide affordable editing services for bloggers like you. Typos in your work can throw off readers, so we’d like to help you patch those up. Our services page is here if you’re interested {link}.

Regards,

{your name}

Here we present an exact problem and point out where your prospect is experiencing it, then offer a solution. If you have any statistics to prove your service works, throw those in as well.

Email Image Best Practices

As you may know, including images in email marketing is a must, but what about professional B2B emails?

People have come up with plenty of creative ways to use images in cold outreach campaigns. The right image could make your pitch more memorable.

For correspondence and conversation-starters, simple is likely the best way to go.

Presentation is important, but your offer should stand on its own.

That said, if being simple isn’t working for you, give images a try. It could be a good way to increase engagement.

Make a Connection

Cold outreach is all well and good, but one of the best things you can do is to warm those emails up a little bit. You can do that by establishing a connection beforehand.

One way to warm up for an email campaign is to contact your target via their social media accounts. Shooting them a simple direct message through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. might make them more receptive to your offer.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can do hours of research, write the perfect personalized email, and still get ignored.

But what if you strike up a dialogue and get to know your prospect first? Or even reach out and ask for their email directly rather than going around them to find it?

That’s a much better way of getting results.

Conclusion

Email finders are a vital part of an outreach strategy, but finding someone’s email is only half the battle.

You need to put work in, do your research, write a personalized email, and make it creative, so it doesn’t get sent to the trash.

Your goal isn’t just to advertise your services. It’s to create a real relationship that’s mutually beneficial to both parties.

Use email finders for good intentions, like making connections, reaching out, and establishing working relationships. Do not use it for evil, like spamming and sending mindless sales emails.

What are your cold outreach strategies that have gotten the best results?

The post How to Find Any Business Email Address appeared first on Neil Patel.

Starting Business Credit – Why Your Business Address Matters

Did you know that your business address matters when it comes to starting business credit?  Your address matters. And there are other things that can make a difference. Here’s how you can start off on the right foot when it comes to business credit.

Your Business Address, and  5 Other Things You Didn’t Know Make a Difference When Starting Business Credit

When you first start a business, you may not be thinking about anything other than how to pay for it  and how to get customers. Many businesses start small from home. They operate in either an extremely intimate area, or they work mostly online.  Social media-based businesses have exploded in recent years. 

That being the case, new business owners often simply use their home address as their business address.  It’s the easiest thing to do, and makes sense after all. I mean, if you are running your business out of your house, why wouldn’t you use your home address? 

What frustrates you the most about funding your business? Check out how our free guide can help

Looking into the future however, you are going to need to build business credit.  For that, your business needs its own address, separate from your personal address. 

Why Is Starting Business Credit Important? 

If you have great personal credit, business credit probably never even crossed your mind.  You just figure you can get all the funding you need based on the merits of your personal credit score. If your personal score isn’t the best, you may have explored other options and realize that business credit is a thing. 

Here is what you may not know, either way.  You cannot just apply for credit in your business name and assume that any credit you get is business credit.  Unless you set up your business in a very specific way and follow a very intentional process, those accounts are going to report to your personal credit.  This is true even if you apply with your business name. 

Why does this matter?  There are a few reasons actually.  First, personal credit simply cannot handle the spending necessary to run a business.  You will either exceed your limits continually or consistently hover near them. Even if you pay off your cards each month, staying near limits can affect your score negatively.  It results in a high debt-to-credit ratio, and that will cause your personal score to drop.

Conversely, cards obtained on the merits of your business credit will usually have higher limits.  That means more spending power. Not only that, but if there is and issue with your business debt, your personal credit will be protected because those accounts will not be on your personal credit report.

How to Get a Business Address

Now that you know why you need business credit, you need to know how to get it.  Like I said, there is more to it than just applying for credit using your business name.  Your business has to be set up a certain way. You also have to be intentional about getting accounts that report to business credit rather than personal credit.

For your business to be set up in a way that is conducive to building business credit, it needs to be easily recognizable as a fundable entity separate from the owner.  One of the first steps toward accomplishing that is for the business to have an address different than the owner’s personal address.

The question that most business owners ask about this is, how do you get a business address that isn’t your home address if your business is in your house?  Well, the obvious first option is to get a P.O. Box. That works for some things, but some lenders want to see a physical address. 

Of course, if you are running a business online or from your home, you are wondering how you can do that.  The answer is a virtual office.

What frustrates you the most about funding your business? Check out how our free guide can help

What is a Virtual Office and How Does it Work?

According to Investopedia, “A virtual office gives businesses a physical address and office-related services without the overhead of a long lease and administrative staff. With a virtual office, employees can work from anywhere but still have things like a mailing address, phone answering services, meeting rooms, and videoconferencing.”  

Basically, virtual offices operate as a single unit.  Sometimes there is a physical location that has meeting rooms and such available as needed. However, more often it is operated solely online with a physical mailing address and other services you can use, as mentioned above. These services are ideal for those that need a physical address but do not need an actual office. 

3 Stellar Options for Virtual Offices

If You think a virtual office space is best for your business, here are three top options to help get you started. 

Davinci

Davinci offers a prime business address with options to hire a receptionist, book meeting space, and live chat.  Prices are variable. Call for a quote or go here to learn more. 

Alliance Virtual Offices

Alliance offers a physical address, office space, mail services, and phone answering services starting at $125.  Go here to learn more. 

Regus

In addition to virtual office services, Regus has options for meeting rooms and more.  Find out more here. 

What Else Matters: 5 Other Things You Didn’t Know Make a different When Starting Business Credit

Separating your business from yourself for the purpose of starting business credit takes more than having a separate business address. Here are some other steps that you must take to make your business appear fundable on its own to lenders. 

Startup Biz Credit Suite

You Need a Business Phone Number Before Starting Business Credit

This is for pretty much the same reason that you need a business address that is different from your own.  Your address and phone number are both identifying factors that point back to your personal credit report. If you associate them with your business, you run the risk of business accounts reporting on personal credit. 

Your business phone number should be toll-free, and it needs to be listed in the business directories.  You can handle this at: http://www.listyourself.net/ListYourself/

You Need a Professional Business Website Before Starting Business Credit

Think about it.  In today’s world, if you aren’t online do you really even exist?  The first place anyone looks for anything is online. Having a business website is a must.  You can’t just throw something together though. It is essential that the website be user friendly and well put together.  It is almost always worth it to pay a professional to handle this. Oh, and don’t use a free hosting service. That does not look professional.  Pay for hosting through a service like GoDaddy.

You Need a Dedicated Business Email Address Before Starting Business Credit 

This goes along with the other separate business contact information.  Don’t use your personal email address as your business email. Also, make sure your business email has the same URL as your website.  A free email service such as Yahoo or Gmail will not serve you as well. 

Your Business Needs to Formally Incorporate Before Building Business Credit

If you operate as a sole proprietor or a partnership, there will never be enough separation between you and your business to build separate business credit.  You need to formally incorporate as either a corporation, an S-corp, or an LLC. Here is a little more information about each of these options.

Corporation

 This is the most expensive option, but it also offers the most protection from liability. There is a double taxation caveat with this option that is a turn off for most. Owners pay tax at both the business level and the shareholder level. In some cases, this is the best option anyway. 

 S-Corp

 S-Corps are very similar to corporations, but double taxation isn’t an issue. There are also limits on the number of shareholders allowed among other restrictions set forth by the IRS. 

 LLC

 An LLC, or a limited liability corporation, is the least expensive option. It still offers some liability protection, and has fewer restrictions than an S-corp. 

Each of these options serves the purpose of further separating the business from the owner when you are looking to start a business credit profile. The option you choose should be the one that best suits your needs for tax purposes. 

You Need a Business Bank Account to Start Business Credit Building

Another common practice of small business owners is to use their personal bank account for business funds.  While in the beginning this seems like the best option simply because it is easy, it further mingles your personal information with your business information.  Not only that, but it makes separating business expenses from personal expenses at tax time very hard. 

You need a separate business account.  When it comes to starting business credit, this helps in two ways.  First, it helps to separate the business from the owner. Also, so lenders want to see a certain balance in a business bank account before approving credit.  

Other Things You Need to Know Before Starting Business Credit

In addition to the things mentioned above, there are a few other steps you need to take to set up your business for starting business credit. 

The EIN Wins in the Battle of EIN vs. SSN When Starting Business Credit

And EIN is the business equivalent of a social security number. If you use your SSN to apply for credit for your business, your personal credit will get involved. By using a unique identification number specifically for the business, you ensure that your business is separate from your SSN. You can get an EIN for free here

You Have to Have a D-U-N-S Number to Have Business Credit

Here’s why.  Dun & Bradstreet is the largest and most commonly used business credit reporting agency.  If you do no have a D-U-N-S number, you cannot have a business credit file with them. You definitely need a business credit profile with D & B.

Choose Creditors that Work with the SBFE

The SBFE is a not-for-profit entity that gathers data on small businesses from its members. The data is then used to compile comprehensive credit information. Lenders that are SBFE members have access to this information.  They use this information to make credit decisions.

The Small Business Finance Exchange does not lend money. It also does not create or distribute credit reports. What is does do is collect information from lender members on their borrowers.  That information is then passed to D&B and Equifax. This means if you are doing business with SBFE members, you know your credit information is being reported, at least to those lenders that are members of the SBFE. Find out more about the SBFE here. 

What frustrates you the most about funding your business? Check out how our free guide can help. 

Other Ways to Get Accounts Reporting To Your Business Credit Report

Once you have your business set up properly, you can start to build business credit.  If you do not already have strong business credit, you will have to start at the bottom credit tier, known as the vendor credit tier.  These are starter vendors that will offer net terms on invoices without checking your credit. Then they will report your payments to the credit reporting agencies.   However, they will often want to see an EIN, business bank account, or a listing in the business directories along with a certain amount of time in business or annual revenue.  This is just one reason why setting up your business properly is so important. 

After you get a few of these accounts reporting, you can apply for credit in the next tier, which is the retail credit tier.  These are cards that you can only use in the stores that issue them, like a Best Buy card or an Office Depot card.  

Once you have several of these accounts reporting positive payment history, you can apply for cards in the fleet credit tier.  Those are cards from companies like Shell or Fuelman that can only be used for fuel and auto repair and maintenance.  

Get enough cards from the fleet credit tier, and you can move on up to the cash credit tier.  These are the cards that do not have limits on where you can use them or what types of expenses you can use them to pay.  This is the top tier, and once you hit it you will see your business credit score start to grow like a snowball rolling downhill.  That is, of course, if you handle your credit responsibly.

Not Having a Business Address can Kill Your Chances of Starting Business Credit 

There is so much more to getting business credit than having a separate business address.  However, if you have everything you need and you do not have a business address, that lack could definitely throw a kink in the process. Remember, you don’t have to have a separate location, just a separate address. Then make sure everything else is set up to separate your business from yourself.  After that, you can start building strong business credit. The funding you need to run and grow your business will be right there when you need it.  

 

The post Starting Business Credit – Why Your Business Address Matters appeared first on Credit Suite.