• October 17, 2017 /  Entrepreneurs
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    Oldies but goodies…

    The social media landscape has significantly changed the face of small business communication, but it does not mean previous technologies have been rendered useless. “Old” technologies, such as e-mail newsletters, instant messaging and message boards are still active and can still increase productivity (and sales!). Many entrepreneurs already have a strong understanding of these technologies and have probably used them in the past. Consider dusting off that old e-mail newsletter you belong to – you know, the one you haven’t read in 2 years – or do a quick search of what message boards are out there. You may be reminded of and surprised at how useful these seemingly out-of-date services can be.

    Some you’ve probably heard of, but may not know the full power of…

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn has become the platform for business-focused social networking. By setting up a LinkedIn profile, users are able to post their work history and professional profiles for others to see. This tool presents opportunities for generating new business, reconnecting with old colleagues, and finding a job.

    While many business users may have a LinkedIn profile, they may overlook the other small business communication tools LinkedIn provides. For example, LinkedIn Groups are a simple way to create an online forum where customers, prospects and industry insiders can exchange ideas. Similar to an e-mail newsletter, the Group allows invited LinkedIn users to interact with one another and for a company to communicate key messages. With some simple work on the front-end to get the group moving, an entrepreneur can then take a back-seat to let the patients run the asylum – while still maintaining his or her position as the group leader.

    Wiki

    A wiki (rhymes with tricky) is a website that allows users to edit the content that is posted on the page; the trick to wikis is ensuring the edits are accurate. Wikipedia, for example, is an editable online encyclopedia in which users can edit the content. The reason the information remains accurate is Wikipedia has designated individuals to monitor updates.

    From a business perspective, a wiki is a great small business communication tool for companies with geographically distributed offices or teams. Users can post a document or other materials on an internal wiki and allow a group to review and edit the material in one place. Beyond the team collaboration, the wiki also helps with “version control,” a problem that occurs when some users do not have the most up-to-date version of a document. Microsoft’s SharePoint offers companies the ability to make internal wikis, as well as discussion boards.

    Some small business communication tools you may not have heard of…

    Yammer

    Yammer is an enterprise microblogging service – think of it as Twitter for internal business communication. The service allows businesses to create their own internal communication channel and limit use to those who have a valid company e-mail address.

  • October 16, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Have you ever wondered what that 9 figure number is in the bottom left hand side of your bank notes? Plenty of people have this question. As a matter of fact, about 50,000 people search for routing number related terms in search engine listings every month.

    The routing number is also described as a transit number or ABA number. It is comprised of a 9 figure code and it is utilized in the United States of America. The individual design of this number is to determine the depository financial institution or financial organization from which the cash referred to on the cheque is to be withdrawn.

    With so many banking companies in existence nowadays, this number is very helpful to the depository financial institution taking a deposition of a check in determining where they need to get the money. It was at one time a difficult undertaking to determine where bank checks were written from. In fact, this difficulty has historically been exploited by criminals to commit fraud against banks.

    Therefore, this numerical system was formulated to streamline and clarify the procedure for clearing houses and for banks. This has helped in the reliable transferal of money between banks on behalf of their clients for years now.

    This system has even been developed. The serialized number makes it easier for computers to understand and apply the information and as recently as 2004 it has been used to transmit electronic bank checks also known as echecks or EFTs (electronic funds transfer). This started out with the passage of the Check 21 Act which has helped to reduce the reliance on paper bank checks by making it allowable to make digital copies of bank checks.

    This handy number system dates all the way back to 1910 when the American Bankers Association (ABA) organised it to help interbank relations. It has been used ever since to help the banking industry to work smoothly.

    Can you envisage trying to keep track of over 26 thousand different banking companies that issue bank checks? As a banker you would be overcome with work trying to determine where to get your money! This is precisely the problem that the ABA has successfully helped to solve since 1910.

    About 26,895 routing numbers are actively put to use in the United States of America today. This is because every financial organization must have one by law. That means that every depository financial institution is required to have an ABA number assigned to them before they open their doors.

    The cheque routing number is an important development in the story of banking. It has served to improve the efficiency of banks. It has assisted in improving the security of banks. It has even helped improve the manner in which we transfer money around the net.

    Learn more about the check routing number system.

  • October 16, 2017 /  Entrepreneurs
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    There is a big misconception regarding first time entrepreneurship and that is the justification that it is okay to fail your first time simply because some well-known entrepreneurs failed and then hit it big.

    What is not mentioned is the number of individuals who failed their first time as an entrepreneur and never got a second shot. Therefore, you might as well make it profitable the first time around.

    Thus, to ensure higher odds of entrepreneurial success, you must choose the right business.

    Here are 4 tips how:

    1. Don’t Let the Economy Determine What Business You Should Start

    The first thing that entrepreneurs think of when starting a business is our current economic condition. Although it is hard to bypass the thought of a horrid economy and the subsequent effect on your new entrepreneurial venture, it is imperative that you not let the economy sway your decision.

    This will especially prove true when the economy turns in the next few years and you are left with an average business that was overly defensive and a lot of regret.

    2. Let Google Assist You In Your Choice of Business How do you truly determine market demand for the product and / or services you plan to offer?

    One way to do it is to use the Google Keyword Checker. This basic site will tell you how many people are searching monthly for your product or service.

    Another key element that the Keyword Checker brings to the table is the use of adjectives.

    For instance, you may want to open a business selling blue widgets, but upon looking up how sought after the product is on the web, you find out that green widgets are searched for times as often as blue.

    3. You Cannot Avoid Sales, Instead You Must Embrace It and Not Let It Determine Your Business Choice

    A willingness to engage in sales separates the men and women from what will be future job seekers.

    Entrepreneurs hate sales because for some reason they tend to be more afraid of rejection than your average Corporate Joe or Jane. Why this reason is, I cannot tell you, but to avoid human interaction, entrepreneurs will completely alter the business that they are going into.

    What they don’t realize is that regardless of industry, sales is part of business and, thus part of entrepreneurship.

    4. K.I.S.S. Keep the concept simple (or, to use the real phrase, Keep It Simple, Stupid). A rule of thumb for first time (and any entrepreneurs) is that if you cannot explain your business in two sentences or less, it’s most likely not going to sell.

    It is very rare that people reinvent the wheel with entrepreneurship. As a matter of fact, you can count them on your fingers: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson and ?

    The odds of hitting Pick 6 are better. In entrepreneurship, especially when choosing your first business, go for a base hit, not a home run your first time at bat.

  • October 16, 2017 /  Entrepreneurs
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    Information is much easier to gain access to nowadays because of the continual advances in technology that are going on day after day. The expansion and swiftness of the Internet is a central example of how technology has revolutionized over time. The Internet is proving to be the most suitable and resourceful place to find information and expand your business.

    So why do so many people still fall short to achieve results?

    Anthony Robbins is one individual who provides a ton of valuable knowledge (hence the reason he is very successful). He says that the reason why so many people fail is because of the excuses they create. He calls them limited resources. These limited resources (excuses) owned by the majority of people consist of:
    Not enough money
    Not enough time
    Lack of personnel
    Not the right technology
    Not knowing how to plan or inadequate planning
    Lack of quality leadership

    The mass majority of business owners blame their failures on a lack of resources. But let’s look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders:
    Bill Gates: Bought MS-DOS for $50k and sold it to IBM for over $50m
    Richard Branson: Billionaire entrepreneur. Started a student magazine and selling music he liked in his garage – creator of Virgin)
    Steve Jobs: Co-founder of Apple
    Oprah Winfrey: Unfavourable circumstances during early childhood – Now a role model and inspiration to countless people especially African Americans simultaneously hosting her own talk show)
    Lance Armstrong: Won the Tour de France 7 years in a row after beating testicular cancer
    Mark Zuckerberg: Co-founder of Facebook. Originally designed as a network so only college students could interact, share photos and videos. Now it is a worldwide phenomenon

    They used their characteristics, positive attitudes, past experiences, took action and have now created much more resources. There is an abundance in available resources waiting for us all to make use of. Successful entrepreneurs and leaders do not believe in limited resources.

    It is no one else’s fault if you are letting your emotions, your mindset, and your stance prevent you from taking action. It’s your responsibility to be successful. Your life has an incredible calling. It’s time for you to wake up and capture the opportunity. Rather than worrying or complaining about information overload, how about think about how lucky you are to have all this information and knowledge right in front of you? The majority of people in the planet have no chance of achieving what you can because they have no Internet access!

    Being an entrepreneur is the VEHICLE for which you create financial freedom and to “drive” anywhere you please to do anything you want. You either face the challenges or run away back to the drone known as the rat race.

    You are the leader you’ve been looking for.

  • October 15, 2017 /  Finance & Invesment
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    Due diligence is the term commonly used for investigation of any kind. People in todays world are extremely cautious before entering into any kind of investment whether it is stocks or assets. Investment due diligence involves performing a thorough check up on the property before investing. In case of stocks or hedge funds, the person can perform due diligence by going through the prospectus and checking on the fund managers background and capability. Investment due diligence when it comes to property, requires a specific check list which takes care of the authenticity of the transaction and acquisition, as in the case of industries. An effective checklist will contain the financial background of the principal, the physical condition of the property and the marketing capability of the place. If the due diligence investigation is performed properly then the buyer can avoid himself from getting into a trap.

    In case of commercial properties, the commercial landlords often conduct a thorough due diligence investigation. Preparing a proper acquisition due diligence list is very important for commercial property investors. They must look for the underground and storage tanks, drinking water taste reports, radon and remediation reports, plans and survey report and also visit the site physically to track any kind of disputes between the seller and the buyer.

    The Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activities are mainly dependent on the analysis of due diligence. It mainly involves financial and legal due diligence. The merger and acquisition by companies take a deep look into the financial assets, articles of incorporation, market value, technology and the competency of the company. Once a company decides to sell the property, the bank is taken into confidence to keep the M&A accounts. Then the property is given to the investment bank; thereafter, investment banking due diligence starts playing its role. The bank goes through the legal points and discusses the litigation issues before the sale.

    In the case of rental residential properties, there is also an effective due diligence method. This method is commonly used by collection agencies appointed by the landlords to track the default tenants. The collection agencies use the skip trace tools to track the contacts of the faulty tenants.

    So, whether it is a small or big investment, due diligence investigation plays a pivotal role in property investment. Proper investigation can result in fruitful investment and can take you a long way. Consult the masters and invest today!

  • October 14, 2017 /  Finance & Invesment
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    Seeking professional help due to financial problems is a typical experience that most people have to face at least once in their lives. The most important thing when in financial trouble is to be able to recognize the signs and seek assistance from a professional to help get you out of financial danger. In a situation like this it requires you to take action to seek help in order to help yourself. It is also crucial to recognize that what is dangerous for one person may not be for another and may just be a bad month.

    In Canada there are four financial signs to warn you that you may be in a financially dangerous spot. The first sign is if you have failed to make one or more payments on a mortgage or loan you may be in financial danger. Keep in mind one late payment over a course of a long period is not the same as repetitive failing to make payments. The second sign of financial danger is if your credit cards are constantly at their limit and unable to be used. The third sign is if you are paying bills by taking credit card cash advantages you may be in financial danger. This is a big one because by doing this you are allowing yourself to pay off debt with debt which just repeats the cycle. The fourth sign is if your creditors have passed your account to a collection agency or if you have received notice of legal action being taken. At that point you are experiencing financial danger and it is important that you are aware of this and take action to receive help.

    It is in such a place like the one above where you need to decide to take action and either seek professional help or learn techniques to keep your bank balanced so that you are not missing payments. It is important to recognize that every situation is individualized, and being late on a payment is a lot different than already receiving a legal notice of action against you. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes things in life are beyond our control and you may not have a say in the way things happen. These can be things such as losing your job, experiencing a death or divorce.

    Overall, financial problems come in many different shapes and sizes and it is important to be aware of your financial problems and face them square on so that it reduces the risk of having trouble later on.

  • October 13, 2017 /  Entrepreneurs
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    Preparing yourself to become an entrepreneur means becoming a whole person. This means preparing yourself spiritually to be an entrepreneur as well as financially and mentally.

    Youre not going to be able to operate a business unless youre a whole person, and you cant be a whole person unless youre spiritual. And this means being spiritual according to your own definition of the word.

    One definition of spirituality is a sensitivity to, or concern with, non-material values, as distinguished from material concerns. Perhaps you consider yourself spiritual in this sense.

    Or, maybe you feel that worshiping and believing in a higher power makes you a spiritual person. Just as the definition of success is different for each person, so is the meaning of being spiritual but it is something that will help all of us on our journey.

    For me, being spiritual means having a living, loving relationship with God the heavenly Father, in with, and through His Son, Jesus Christ, by way of the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the essence of this spiritual relationship which helps me find my whole self.

    When youre a whole person, your business will click, and you will click. If you arent a whole person if you ignore your spiritual dimension both your business and your personal life will be incomplete.

    Preparing yourself socially to be an entrepreneur means understanding how your business fits into the larger context of your life. You have to remember that you have family and friends, and have to keep them informed of your plans and goals, and involve them in your business decisions.

    When the people around you have bought into what you want to do, youll receive strength and support from them, which will speed you to your success.

    Social preparation also means understanding that there is a social side to business. Make it a point to get involved in at least one business organization in your area. Whether you join the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the Lions Club or some other type of business organization, you will experience social growth, a well as the having the means to participate in many good networking opportunities.

    Getting collected is a natural outgrowth of getting comfortable. Once you have made all your preparations and have actually started doing business, its your approach thats going to define your business.

    If youve already gotten comfortable with an ever changing business, youll be able to remain collected and professional, calm and self-possessed as an entrepreneur.

  • October 12, 2017 /  Entrepreneurs
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    The internet has made it easier for anyone with the characteristics of an entrepreneur to fire their bosses, work less, have more time, and make money online. If that sounds like something that interests you, here’s how to get into a home based internet business that’s right for you.

    First, You Must Believe

    Few people become a success by accident. You can’t assume the role of an entrepreneur unless you think like an entrepreneur. And one thing a successful entrepreneur never thinks about is failure.

    Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com has a net worth of over 4.85 billion dollars. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has over 7 billion dollars in the bank. And while you may not end up earning what these online business entrepreneurs earn, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t take one of the top online business ideas and turn it into a very healthy income.

    Here are 5 basic steps to launching a business opportunity that will make money on the internet online:

    1.Find something in demand and sell it. Even in the worst of times people still spend money. The only difference is, they are more choosey about what they spend it on. If you can offer a product that people need, no matter what the economy is like, you’re on to a winning formula.

    2.Make sure you team up with a business that is not MLM. You need to focus your energies on keeping yourself motivated and productive. It just wastes your time when you have to babysit downline members who aren’t as motivated as you are.

    3.Look for a unique online business opportunity that isn’t over-represented. It takes a lot of time, energy and money to compete against established competitors who already own a huge share of the online home business internet market. Find a good niche and serve it well.

    4.Work less; work smart. Find an online internet home based business that offers you the ability to automatically prospect for customers and that gives you the tools to make sales online without having to interact with your customers directly.

    5.Finally, make sure you choose real business opportunities online that do not exploit the opportunity seeker. There are plenty of scams out there. Do your due diligence and choose a company you can trust.

    Ready to change your life?

    There’s money to be made owning a home based internet business. Choose yours and get started!

  • October 8, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Have you ever wondered why and how a property is called a bank reo property? REO actually stands for real-estate-owned and is used to designate properties that have reverted to the banks or lenders ownership. A borrower could have defaulted on his loan, causing a foreclosure action to be filed against him by the bank.

    Usually, a notice is given to the defaulting borrower so he could have ample time to make current his account. However, if he fails to pay within the specified period, then the property will be the sold by the bank at a foreclosure auction.

    Financial Opportunities

    In the real estate market, a bank reo property is regarded as one of the safest investments that a buyer can have. This is because the bank typically takes care of all the liens, debts and obligations attached to the property before it turns it over to the new owner. But before a property becomes a bank reo property, it goes through an auction.

    An auction is a public sale where foreclosure properties are sold to interested buyers. The goal is to recover money owed on the property. But not every property offered in an auction is actually sold. Those which fail to get any successful bid revert to the lenders ownership as an REO property.

    But since a bank is not really engaged in the business of selling real estate, it has an REO department which takes care of their bank owned properties. It is common notion in the industry that banks always aim for a quick sale in order to reduce the number of non-performing assets in their inventory.

    A large inventory of property is actually undesirable for a bank. This is because a huge number of properties in their yard can only cost them money in terms of their maintenance, taxes and repairs. Selling them would literally transfer these obligations to the new owner, thus, the desire for a quick sale.

    This is the main reason why many investors prefer a bank reo property over any other property in the foreclosure market. They know that they can negotiate for its price, and even some repairs on the property. If you can master the art of negotiating for a bank owned property, then you can get a good bargain for yourself.

  • October 7, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    While there are indeed many bargains that can be found in the foreclosures market, you should not expect that every property that appears in bank properties listings is a bargain. There are many factors that could drive property prices either up or down. Knowing how to appreciate the market as well as the forces that move behind foreclosures and the entire real estate industry can level your expectations. When dealing with bank properties in particular, take note of the following as smart guides so that you may be able to purchase properties wisely.

    The Real Deal With Bank Offerings

    It is a common notion that bank properties are the safest to buy in the foreclosures market, owing to its ability to erase all liens and transfer clean, good property titles to the buyer. However, despite the screaming ads that boast of low prices and steep discounts, you should be aware that banks do not pass everything on a golden plate.

    When pricing a property and before putting up in bank properties listings, the bank would usually price it almost near to what it is worth, unless it foresees that the property would hardly sell in the market. To attract buyers, banks would commonly employ marketing strategies that would entice the average buyer. This includes offering the property as a move-in-ready property or including some furniture with the sale or even waiving some of its closing costs.

    Also, while banks generally aim for quick sales, this does not mean that they jump in on every offer that they receive for a property. In fact, many foreclosures stay on the market for several months before signs of its being sold even become apparent. The main reason is because it could take weeks or even months for a bank to respond to a buyers offer. And when it does, it almost always makes a counter-offer which could again prolong the negotiation.

    Another thing to be aware of when dealing with bank properties is the fact that defects in property conditions are hardly disclosed by the banks. This is understandable, since many state laws do not or even exempt them from disclosure liability. Another reason is that banks could not be expected to know the condition of all the properties in its inventory.

    Finally, when looking at bank properties listings, bear in mind that there are very few banks that will offer or even entertain pre-closing repairs. If you think that you can insert the deal at any time in your negotiations, you may be in for a surprise. The way to deal with this is to do your own inspection and approximate the repair costs to determine its level of acceptability to you.