Friday, January 30, 2015

How to Save Money on Your Business Start-up

Small business owners know better than anyone that it will almost always take money to make money as expenses quickly begin to accumulate. Those that have recently set out to develop their own business start-up may just now be realizing how much capital these ventures require, but there is help out there. Anyone looking to make save money without cutting the wrong corners needs to keep these actionable tips in mind.

Save and Spend Your Money Wisely

When you are first starting a business, it can be very hard to bring any kind of revenue. This is to be expected when you first start a business as you are trying to create a customer base. Therefore you want to be careful how you spend and save your money. You don’t want to spend your money on unnecessary things as this is how many new businesses go under so quickly. They spend too much and bring in too little revenue. However, you do have to spend some money and you have to take some calculated risks. Therefore you don’t want to just horde all of your money either. If you can make smart investments with the money you make in the early stages of starting your business that will bring in more customers or clients, then you want to spend that money. If it is necessary, you may want to take out a business loan of look for investors willing to put money in your company in the beginning which will hopefully allow your business to grow.

Focus on Free or Affordable Advertising

It will often take a little more time from the owner or their employees, but small businesses will mostly likely need to forgo paid advertising in the beginning. Instead of going with radio, TV, or local newspaper spots, it is more efficient to begin building a powerful online presence with social media companies. Attaching social media accounts to the company's primary website will have the added benefit of making it more visible to search engine users. 

A Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are now highly-trained and can be found for businesses of any size. Some of the top virtual assistant companies now provide small business owners with tiered and industry-specific training for four weeks or longer. They will also do all of the legwork for hiring a new employees such as carrying out a background check, drug tests, the interview process, and even supplying the new virtual assistant with health insurance and other benefits. 

Streamline Your Payment Services

Figuring out how payment services are going to work is often one of the most confusing steps for new merchants and business owners. This is why it is important to figure out simple and streamlined solutions early on with options such as a mobile point-of-sale device. In addition to handheld devices, owners could also opt for programs such as auto-deposits for payroll or the use of smartphones to accept physical checks to cut back on CPA or banking expenses. Owners could also apply for an ACH Merchant Account.

Buy Secondhand Office Supplies

Unless the product is absolutely essential or going to be seen by clientele, no one should ever think twice about purchasing secondhand supplies for their start-up. Going out and purchasing new purpose-built machines or expensive software is impractical for most. By searching online or going through bidding sites, small business owners can find high quality office furniture, electronics, software, and anything else they will need at a fraction of the price.

Money is going to be tight for almost every new start-up, and this is why cutting back on expenses should be on the business owner's mind at all times during those first few months and years.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Critical Differences Between a Bank and a Credit Union

Banks and credit unions both offer the same loan and financial products to borrowers and clients, but there are critical differences between each type of institution. If you are trying to decide where to open an account or where you should apply for a loan, understanding these critical differences is an absolute must. While some people will use terms like bank, savings institution and credit union interchangeably, here are the distinct differences all prospective clients should be aware of.

How Your Money is Used by a Bank

From the outside looking in, credit unions and banks are one and the same, but when you scratch the surface and learn about the operations, you will find that the two are extremely different. When you open an account with a bank, the money that is deposited will be used to invest and earn profits for that institution. This is why there are minimum balances for accounts or else you will be charged a fee. 

How Your Money is Used by a Credit Union

With a credit union, which is not a for-profit organization, you become a shareholder when you deposit money into your account. The dollars in the account are actually buying shares, and you are part owner of that company. Credit unions like PenFinancial Credit Union are not corporate entities and you, along with other members, have a say in how the company is run. Because members have an interest in how the company performs, they tend to take more pride in being a customer and a shareholder when doing business with a credit union rather than a bank.

The Presence of Banks vs. Credit Unions

Another thing that sets a credit union apart from a bank is its presence. Typically, banks have a nationwide presence, which creates the need for large advertising and marketing expenditures. Banks are also known to participate in lobbying efforts with the government to fight for new legislation that will help grow their profit margin. Their goal is to be on top, above competition in the industry.

The presence of a credit union is very different. Most of the time, only people with certain employers or in a specific community are able to become members. Because there is exclusivity, the credit union does not need to advertise. They partner with organizations and offer their products in a way that is spread through word of mouth. Being not-for-profit means that any profits are reinvested into the company to offer lower interest rates and better products. 

The Balance Between Customer Care and the Interest of the Institution

Credit unions want you to feel like part of the community. After all, you are part owner and deserve to receive the best customer care. While offering competitive products and services is important, these institutions have made a commitment to take build relationships and exceed their members' expectations.

Banks have to find a good balance between their motives to earn profits and the cost to provide customer care. All activities that the bank has should result in profits, and this can affect your bottom line. Banks are also allowed to use your deposit funds on a multitude of potentially risky investment options designed to increase the profits of their shareholders. These actions show where their loyalties truly lie.

As you can see, there are critical differences in the interests of a bank versus the interests of a credit union. Ultimately, you will need to decide if you want to be a depositor funding the profits of a bank or a shareholder of a credit union providing excellent rates and customer care.

CFD Trading: A Guide to Jumpstarting Your Trade Right

CFD stands for Contract of Difference. This is an agreement made by two parties when exchanging their differences from closing and opening prices of a contract. Most traders use CFD to anticipate the movement of market prices in the future. This does not depend on the current situation of the market. Whether current trend is falling or rising, CFD allows you to make two actions: One, to sell and go short; and the second is to hedge in order to make the portfolio have an offset to the physical investment. 

CFD Trading Features

The CFD permits every trader to sell (go short) once the market seems to fall and buy (go long) if the trader thinks that the market will rise. The CFD can be used to increase the profits along the fall price is the trader used it to sell his assets. Once the prices move against your bet, then losses will come haunting you. Moreover, CFD will help every trader to offset his loss through short selling his existing portfolio.

CFD traders are allowed to play in the market for 24 hours. This will be very helpful in accessing your trade whenever you want. It means that you can make actions just as the market moves in your favour. With its 24 hour availability, you can access not just your trade but also opportunities from other traders and brokers whose information are made available at There you will be able to compare brokers and choose what you think can broaden your chances for great deals. 

CFD Trading Rules You Need to Know

1. Use rational thinking. Most traders depend on their thoughts and logic instead on delving into what their hearts tell them. Trading is analysis and in order to catch the good trend, one has to open his mind and clear his thoughts from emotional anxieties. When you think you are overwhelmed by some emotional instability, better get out of the platform and calm yourself.

2. Avoid exposing your assets in a single trade. There are traders who focus on single trade and risk almost all of their trading capital. This is not considered trading. Those who do so are called gamblers. Logical trading should not risk more than 5% of a trader's capital.

3. Combine technical and fundamental analysis. The fundamental analysis should be used to trigger any existing trade whole technical analysis works better to know the right time to enter the market.

4. Use the trend lines to refrain from adding capital to losing trades. Never ever confuse trending markets from those which are bounded by range. You might be inspired to expect something will rise and yet in the end, you just added something to a losing market.

5. Trade in differ4nt kinds of markets. Diversify your attention to different industries. If one of your trading activities involves oil companies, then try a chance in food and beverage or others which will not follow the same trend.

6. Identify your weaknesses. Once you knew what makes you fall, you will be reminded to stick to your plans and manage your money properly.

CFD trading has a long history, and the history will only continue as long as traders find this to be a successful way of trading in various markets all from one platform. It's much easier to figure out than other types of trading, and there are great benefits that come from working with a reliable provider. Basically, CFD trading is the easier method of making profits from trades from those that aren't prepared or ready to jump into the world of actual trading. Traders can learn from CFD trading and apply their knowledge to other types of trading when they feel ready.

Peter Dav is a seasoned financial analyst and forex market trader. His experiences in the volatile market arena has taught him and others on how to manage their finances right especially when involved in currency trading. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Debt Solutions: How to Get Your Struggling Finances Under Control

If you are struggling with finances, it can be difficult to get them under control and get a handle on your debt, but there are ways to do so that don't take a lot of effort.

Set a budget

Budgeting is important especially now in days. Having a budget allows you to have better control over your personal finances in terms of how you save, invest and how you spend your money. One reason your finances may be out of control is that you aren't keeping track of how much money you are spending. 

If this is the case, you need to set a budget. Do a monthly accounting of all your must-haves, such as car insurance, food, rent and utilities. Once you have done that, decide how much you have left over. If you are spending more than you are taking in, make cuts where you can.

Look for ways to save

Discretionary income should be the first place to cut if you are spending too much. Eat out less and go to fewer movies and concerts, for example. There may be other ways to save, too. For example, if you aren't bundling services, such as phone, cable TV and Internet, you are probably missing out on discounts. You might also be able to save on those services by not paying for more than you need. You may find you don't need unlimited data and texting on your wireless phone or unlimited movie channels through your cable service.

Use credit sparingly

You need to have good credit, but credit cards often make unnecessary purchases more tempting. Many people think that they can buy something now and pay it off later when they have more funds. The problem with that sentiment is, is that kind of mentality becomes a habit. It becomes a bad habit to the point where you find yourself in credit card debt because you’re spending too much now and paying it off later and not having enough money to do so. If you are using your credit card like free money, you are headed for trouble. 

Credit cards should only be for emergencies or for things you can pay back right away. If you are using your credit cards to live beyond your needs, you need to stop right away. Also, if you have too many credit cards, you might want to consider closing some of those accounts and limiting yourself to one and maybe two credit cards if necessary. Keep in mind that you do need credit. There might come a time where you need to take out a loan to buy something such as a house, but you need good credit, which is why you should only use your credit cards sparingly to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.

Consolidate debt

If you are carrying credit card balances, you likely are paying high interest rates. To get better control of this debt, you should consolidate the balances onto cards with lower rates. If you do so and concentrate on paying down the balances, you can slowly eliminate your debt and take better control of your finances.

Take advantage of sources of cash

If you are getting payments through a structured settlement, lottery winnings or other financial vehicle, you can work with a company like to sell your future payments and get a lump sum payment, which you then can use to pay down debt faster.

With a little planning and effort, you can get your spending under control, which will then allow you to pay off debt and no longer have to struggle with your finances.

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