Starting a Business? Manage Your Credit

Although the job market has improved significantly since 2008, competition is still intense and today’s graduates face high unemployment rates. In a 2010 study released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 24.4 percent of graduates had a job waiting for them after graduation. Although that number is up from 19.7 percent in 2009, and the 2013 numbers could be even higher, that still leaves a significant number of graduates unemployed.

Additionally, many of these recent college graduates are also facing a lot of debt, which makes finding a job that much more important.

Entrepreneurship as a Solution

Rather than put all of their hopes on the possibility of finding employment, many recent graduates are creating their own futures by starting small businesses or working as independent contractors or freelancers.

Depending on the type of business, it is possible to become an entrepreneur with relatively low overhead and startup costs. For example, you could start a freelance writing business for little more than the cost of a computer, a good office suite (like Microsoft Office), internet access, and a website.

On the other hand, if you start a business like a food truck, or a bakery, your costs could be significantly higher and you might need to take out a small business loan.

Small Business Loans

Small business loans make it possible for entrepreneurs to access the funds they need to start and grow their businesses. These loans could be smaller than the loans that large, established, corporations receive, and they could also have lower interest rates.

These loans are available through private banks, government entities, and even through major corporations looking to invest in new companies. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has a wealth of information on how to find small business loans. The SBA also has as a list of loans, grants, and possible investors.

Qualifying for a Loan

Qualifying for a loan depends on the institution servicing the loan, but most lenders will require you to submit a both a personal as well as a business credit history. If your business is brand new, or does not have a credit history, then whether or not you qualify for a loan will depend entirely on your personal credit.

As we stated before, many college students are graduating with debts. In fact, the average college student graduates with $35,200 in debt. Some of these debts are government or private student loans, but another portion of them are personal loans and credit cards.

Having a large amount of debt, or a lot of credit account, even if you are current on your bills, can actually look bad in a credit review and ruin your chances of getting a small business loan.

This is why it’s important to effectively manage your credit.

Managing Your Credit.

If you have multiple student loans, you can often consolidate them. This makes five loans, and five different loan accounts, look like one single account. Loan consolidation can also adjust your interest rate and give you lower monthly payments, all of which look better on a credit report.

If you have multiple personal loans and credit cards, you can work with a credit counseling company to negotiate better rates and even consolidate some of the debt. Many of these companies have a proven track record of successful negotiations with creditors, and have offices across the country. These offices can also communicate with each other and share information.

For example, let’s say you attend Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, but your permanent home is in Binghamton, New York. To get a leg up on your credit, you can start working with a company like Lexington Law in Salt Lake City before you graduate. Then, after graduation, you can continue working with the office in Binghamton, or wherever you end up.

Then, if you decide to take out a small business loan, you will already have cleaned up your credit history and improved your chances of qualifying.

 

Why Your Team is Your Most Valuable Asset

HA0509. Marketing and Business Engagement team  Tourism and Leisure event. Briefing and Discussion with the Tourism and Leisure Sector at the Madejski Stadium, March 2010.

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In a world of profit margins, balance sheets and dollar signs, it can sometimes be easy to forget the human side to a business. Unless you employ, make and sell robots, chances are that people are integral to your business. So how much do you value your team of employees? Have you fully realised their potential and how much they contribute to your business? If not, read on below and maybe you’ll start thinking differently.

Perform Basic Functions

Think of your current business. Perhaps you sell t-shirts or computer parts, or maybe you provide hairdressing or dog washing services. Your business could have five employees or it could have 35. Next, think of a typical day in your business. Customers call, email or walk in. Orders are taken, goods are exchanged or services are performed. Now take away all of your employees. What are you left with? Never forget that your employees are the heart and soul of your business. They are the individuals who perform the basic functions that allow the business to survive.

Make Work a Joy

When you have a healthy team culture, the workplace becomes a welcoming and sociable environment. You benefit from this positive atmosphere too; office laughter, jokes and banter can all be instrumental in reducing stress and anger. From hotel staff recruitment to physiotherapist recruitment, this is why many HR departments and companies across the country, such as Chandler Macleod, use psychometric testing to assess the suitability of candidates’ personalities. Maybe you have even developed long-lasting friendships with your staff?

Source of Support

If you have an open-minded, collaborative managerial style, your team of employees can also be a real source of support. When it comes to those big, tough decisions, use them as a sounding board. Dick Smith, the Australian business mogul, was quoted as saying, To be successful you must surround yourself with capable people and ask lots of advice. Are you taking advantage of the skilled, knowledgeable members in your own team? Start now and you may just be surprised at the insight you receive.

Diversification

When you take a day or even a week off, what happens to your business? Does it stand strong or does it fall to pieces? If it’s the latter, listen up. A diversified team is one where members have been cross-trained and are confident in performing a number of different roles and/or tasks. If you want your business to operate come rain, hail, or shine, take the time and effort to invest in and develop your employees.

Do you already have a diversified team? Congratulations. Knowing that you can leave your business in the hands of your capable, experienced employees must lighten the proverbial load. Did you ever stop to think that maybe other managers or employers don’t enjoy the same perk? You can thank yourself but also your team for that.There really are many, many reasons why your team of employees is your most valuable asset.

Do you value and celebrate your team? How else do they contribute to your business? Let us know by commenting below.