Document, pen and digital tablet on office desk, group of business people interacting in the background

Different Types of Finance Available for Your Business

Businesses often need financing at many different stages of the game, and luckily, there are finance options available no matter where your business is currently at. Whether you’re looking to start a business and need the money to make it happen or you’ve found yourself in a tough spot and need some help to get through it, or anything in between, it’s important for you to know about the different options that are available to you so that you can choose the absolute best ones to meet your specific needs and goals.

Online Lending

Online lending has become very popular in recent years, especially for new small businesses. As such, many good online lending companies have popped up in recent years, such as Kabbage. Online lending has the benefit of typically providing businesses with money much more quickly than traditional bank loans since applications can be processed online in as little as one hour. While mostly newer businesses tend to favor online lending, loans are available for businesses at all stages of the game, so no matter what your needs, definitely look into this option to see if it could be right for you.

Grants

In some instances, your business may be eligible to receive a grant. Grants are particularly common in scientific and research fields. Government grants are awarded to deserving businesses or prospective businesses that agree to perform federal research tasks. If you think that your business has a valuable service to provide, read up on grants in your field or industry to see what’s available and then start filling out those applications. However, if you are offered a grant, have your attorney look over the agreement closely so that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and what your responsibilities are.

Invoice Advances

If your business is already established but has hit a rough patch, then an invoice advance may be for you. Invoice advancing allows you to receive money for billed invoices upfront, which you can pay back later after the bill has been paid. It’s basically a way to get money that is already coming to you but to get it quickly, when you need it most. There are interest rates involved, however, so make sure you really need the money and that it’s worth the additional cost to you before you go this route.

Business Credit Cards

Finally, you may want to consider opening up a business credit card as a financing option. This can be done when you’re starting a business and need help getting it off the ground or later on when your business is running but you need a little help. While there are, of course, interest rates involved, monthly payments on business credit cards tend to be quite low, which can be helpful when you’re having trouble or are just getting started.

As you can see, there are financing options available, so research these and other opportunities to see what will work best for you.

Creative Ways to Make Money

Creative Ways to Make Money

The main rule when it comes to personal finance is spending less than the money you earn. To advance financially, it is of utmost importance to save, especially any extra money that you make. Making more money can definitely improve your bottom line and give you added income to put in a savings or retirement account. These are limited ways to save money, but there are so many ways that you can make extra money to possibly pay down your debt or save for the future and also have a little fun while doing so.

 

Several Strategies

Making money is not difficult when you have free time and a creative imagination. There are several strategies you could consider. Below are some ideas that you can implement or add to, some of which are relatively easy and traditional.

 

Yard Sale

If you find that your home is filled with clutter, it may be time to sell some of those items. You could plan a yard sale. Advertise the yard sale online or put up signs at the local grocery store or at the street entrance. You could also pay for an ad in the local newspaper. To attract more sales, group items for discounted pricing and try to negotiate deals as much as you can.

 

Tutoring

If you are good at math or any other subject, you could use your spare time to become a tutor. You could tutor students from elementary age to college age, depending on your expertise. To find your clients, put up ads on college campuses (with permission, of course). You could also put the word out or try online ads at college tutoring websites.

 

Clinical Trials

How about signing up for clinical trial opportunities at www.clinicaltrials.gov or any other websites that you can find online? You will be used as a prototype for testing new pharmaceutical drugs. You could also sign up at the local blood bank to have your blood drawn in exchange for cash. If you are a college student and can prove this, you may get more money for your blood. Be sure to ask pertinent questions and be aware of any associated risks.

 

Uber Driver

If you haven’t heard the word “Uber,” then you don’t live on this planet. Uber is a vehicle-sharing company offering transportation to local residents. You get to use your own vehicle to transport individuals to the airport and other local places. You must have a smartphone and clean driving record. The pay starts at $25 per hour. Not bad for spare time cash, right?

 

Pet Sitting

Do you love pets? Whether you do or not, you can offer your local neighbors to watch their pet while they are away. This is probably an easier side gig than babysitting. Let family and friends know of your intentions and they will pass the word around.  

Parking Space Rental

If you reside in a congested or busy area of town and parking is difficult, you could rent out your parking space, especially when you are at work or on vacation. You could rent it for a specific number of hours at a certain rate. For possible clients, go to www.justpark.com and check out their website and app.

 

Conclusion

There are so many other creative ways that you can make money. If you have an extra room, you could get an interested roommate. You could sell any old mobile devices you have online. Use your imagination. Making money is not all that difficult.

 

Financial Tech Startup Takes Over Germany

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Based out of Berlin, Number26 is a relatively new finance tech startup that offers mobile banking services to most of Germany, and is continuing to grow. Number26 is spreading into six additional European markets, and is successfully winning over customers from rival companies like Banco Santander SA and Deutsche Bank AG.

 

In Germany and Austria alone, Number26 has over 80,000 clients using their mobile banking services with a Wirecard AG bank account. After such success in its country of origin, the company is now expanding their services to Greece, France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, and Ireland. They also plan to add more markets as Number26 flourishes in their newest European market additions throughout the next year.

 

Number26 is even in talks with TransferWise Ltd. to collaborate on international transactions that could make their company even more indispensable and useful to their growing ranks of European consumers. Number 26’s Chief Executive Officer, Valentin Stalf, said in a recent interview that one of the reasons the finance startup has been so successful is due to their business being“very scalable.”

“We can verify people all over Europe with a simple video-conference call. With this latest expansion, we can distribute overhead costs to many more potential customers,” Stalf continued.

 

While Number26 certainly isn’t the first financial tech startup to use consumers’ smartphones as a more convenient alternative to the traditional banks, it is one of the most rapidly-growing in Europe at this moment. According to Stalf, Number26 managed to raise $11 million in funding this April thanks to their many interested large-scale investors.

 

With their new growth spurt, the company seeks another round of funding to push Number26 into more established markets across Europe. The financial tech company is backed by MasterCard, offers safety features like push notifications for every transaction, overdraft alerts, and a sign-up process that only takes 8 minutes through the app.

 

It’s the quality of their tech combined with smart partnerships and business strategies that have pushed Number26 to the front of the line in mobile banking startups in Europe. Given that they’ve only been in existence since 2013, the finance tech company is progressing remarkably well, and investors are taking notice.

 

At this point in time, Number26 only staffs about 70 people; one of the benefits of a young, tech-driven startup. Because of their rapid expansions into their six new European markets, the company plans to add another 50 or so staffers as quickly as possible to help handle the new influx of consumers.

 

Notable investors in Number26 include Redalpine Ventures, Axel Springer SE, EarlyBird Ventures, and Valar Ventures (which is backed by the co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc., Peter Thiel). Number26 has seized mobile banking from the hands of some of Germany’s biggest banks, and will continue in their newly added markets.

 

With so many reputable investors taking stock in this financial tech startup’s future, and with so many consumers making the switch to their services, it’s likely that Number26 has a profitable future ahead of it.

Business Consultants: Are They for You?

If you own a business, you probably already know just how time consuming this task is. It seems like there is always more work to be done and always some new problem that crops up at the most inconvenient time.

If you are finding the challenging of running your business too much to bear on your own, know that you do have options for help and support. One of those options is to hire a business consultant, someone who can help you to streamline your tasks and, even more importantly, to reorder your business in ways that will make it more efficient at running itself.

Business consultants can be expensive and they’re not always necessary in every situations, but there are usually some obvious signs that a consultant may be of good use to you.

 

You Need to Learn Something New…and Fast

We’ve already discussed how the work and responsibility of owning and running a business can be a huge and hugely time-consuming challenge for the average person. What makes this job even harder these days is the fact that there always seems to be some new technology or some new industry-wide change that you have to keep up with.

When you get hit with a situation where you need to learn something new, such as how to use a new software program or how to meet a new compliance regulation, and you don’t have time to learn it on your own as quickly as you’d like (or as you flat out need to), a business consultant, even just hired temporarily, can be a huge help.

These professionals are trained to know everything that goes on in their industry of choice, and usually, they’ll know it sooner than anybody else. Thus, if you hire a consultant during times like these, you can learn the ropes from him or just use his services until you have time to learn how to do the new job yourself.

 

Your Goals are Murky

Another good time to hire a business consultant is when you find that you no longer have clearly defined goals for your business.

Most business owners, when they’re just starting out, have huge plans for their businesses and devote lots of time to thinking about how to make them better and where to go once they reach a goal. However, the daily tasks of running a business often fall this planning and dreaming to fall by the wayside.

If you’re at a point where you’re out of ideas, have no real vision for the future, or just don’t know what the next step for your business should be, a consultant can really look at things with a fresh, outside eye and help you to gain some future perspective.

As you can see, business consultants can really help in various situations. Just always think long and hard about how you want a consultant to help you and honestly assess your need before you invest in the expense of a consultant. If it’ll truly help, then it’s worth it, but you want to be sure before you bring someone in to assist you.

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Jay Z’s Tidal: Capitalizing On People?

Since music has gone digital from physical compact discs, respected artists have found that the only way they can earn a living is to tour non-stop for a couple of years with quick seconds breaks somewhere in between. Music just does not sell the way that used to. Artists are no longer celebrating selling over 250,000 CDs within a week. Those days are over. Now it is about selling out concert dates because consumers can easily download the music they love for free somewhere online. Hip hop mogul Jay Z believes there should be a compromise between artists and consumers by using a service called Tidal that will give fans access to new music all day everyday by paying a small monthly fee of $9.99. Consumers can continue to enjoy their favorite artists while also supporting artists to be able to eat and keep a solid roof over their head. While many understand this concept of give and take, others, such as another hip hop mogul by the name of 50 Cent, believes Jay Z is capitalizing on the people who support his music.

 

50 Cent wonders why he should have to pay $9.99 a month to hear music that he could easily access for free on services such as Spotify and Pandora. Many had a problem with Jay Z’s press conference regarding his investment in the streaming service and its new model wherein artists have a stake in the company. Though the press conference consisted of mega pop artists such as Beyonce, MaDonna, Alicia Keyes, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, and list continues, it reportedly had little impact on the success of the new brand. According to non-supporters such as 50 Cent, the Tidal press conference symbolized that the company had no interest in supporting independent artists struggling to be heard, but rather lining the pockets of wealthy stars that graced the stage. But as many know about the harsh, cold music industry, here today…gone today. Those wealthy artists could be standing in the unemployment line next year if consumers stop spending money on music. Creating and performing music is their employment. Maybe 50 Cent has forgotten what the life of a real musician is really like.

 

Jay-Z believed in the Tidal movement so much, he reportedly invested a whopping $56 million early this year. However, the company has gone through non-stop executive transformations and instability. Tidal’s management turnover has now become a concern since Chief Investment Officer Vania Schlogel’s departed from the company.

First Chief Executive Office Andy Chen resigned. Then interim Chief Executive Office Peter Tonstad departed from Tidal. However, Schlogel’s resignation hit hard because she had become the face of Tidal.

 

During a time when Tidal should be growing against its competitors, the company has been under serious criticism. Tidal has had to re-launch with the many personnel changes. However, in the midst of all the changes and gossip, Tidal managed to reach one million subscribers. Tidal seems to be on the rise, regardless of what non-supporters are projecting. There will always be competition such as Youtube launching an app that gets rid of annoying advertisement popping up during a song and will allow much to be played offline. The new brand called Red is the same monthly charge as Tidal, but Tidal does not offer any free choices. The point is to keep music artists employed, not steal their work and ultimately put them out on the street.
Once Jay Z gets Tidal personnel in order and solid, the company could evolve the music industry completely. Jay Z has always been a man of vision. He did not make it to the top by playing it safe and not stepping out on faith. He knows where the industry is headed which could be disastrous for music artists later down the road if the industry does not figure out a way to make consumers pay for their favorite song. And nothing is more tragic than seeing an artist on top of the world one day and then down and out with a cardboard sign begging for assistance later. Tidal is worth giving a chance.