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What’s The Right Credit Card For My Business?

gty_credit_card_choice_kb_130405_wgA number of credit card providers have been really aiming at including small businesses in their product line. For new, small businesses this can work wonders as it is a lot easier to get a credit card than a loan from a bank.

Of course, there are dozens of choices available and this can often make it quite hard to choose a specific card. The best way to evaluate the sort of card that’s best for your business is to take a look at its spending habits. Different businesses have different spending habits, depending on the sort of business they have.

Balance

Consider if you plan on paying the balance over each month, or whether you will pay it off with time and want to pay the minimum payment. If you do decide to carry the balance then you will need to take a look at the annual percentage rate, as this can end up being quite costly for business if it goes wrong.

For those that wish to carry their balance and also have good credit, take a look to see if you can get a 0% credit card, as this will mean you pay nothing back for a set period. Fixed rates can be very attractive when interest rates are rising; however this is not the case currently.

For businesses that pay all of their balance each month, they should look for cards with rewards or longer periods of grace. These businesses can benefit greatly from paying back and the rewards for being disciplined are good. However, make sure you are disciplined as the costs for not being so are also high.

Charge Cards

A good alternative to the credit card is the charge card. This card differs as it allows businesses to have a short line of credit. The card will always be paid back in the full amount at the end of the month and there are harsh penalties. However, if you do pay back in full your business will receive a number of benefits for doing so. Charge cards often also charge an annual fee and there is a similar process to the credit card application online, when applying for one.

Though, if you do need flexibility, then a credit card is a better option – just be aware of the interest charges and when you need to pay the balance.

Rewards

We’ve mentioned rewards on a number of occasions and both credit card and charge card companies issue these. These often come in the shape of air miles, cash back and discounts at retailers, hotels or for services. Access to airport lounges and hotel upgrades are also part and parcel of these benefits and perks. The main thing here is to pay attention to the fine print if you choose a card with these perks, as the costs of not meeting the criteria are high.

So, in conclusion, the best way to choose a card is to look at your businesses situation and all the financial products out there and then take your ability to pay into account. By then choosing a card around your ability to pay, you can be sure that you will avoid steep charges and gain all the benefits you can.

Cormac Reynolds writes financial articles for a variety of businesses and blogs and has done so for many years.

 

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6 Businesses That Thrive In A Recession

gold-digger

Recessions mean everyone suffers? Well, not necessarily true at all and some businesses thrive during a recession and see the opportunities that it throws up really help them flourish. When most others who did well in the good times stall, these are the businesses that people should invest in.

Sin Industries

Where you would have once purchased a new TV, or taken a holiday to the wine region of France, people will scale down their luxuries in a recession. Fortunately for them most sin is cheap and though they may bypass the new electrical goods, it’s a good time to own an off-licence or sell cigarettes; all of which improve in sales during recession. Chocolate also becomes an alternative to a good night out and does well. The only morally dubious industry to suffer is gambling, which relies on extra cash to do well and takes advantage of the happy go lucky feeling of the good times. All that being said, mobile gambling is currently thriving during the recession.

 

The Constants

There are some businesses that just continue as usual and there is no boom or bust cycle. Pharmaceutical companies, grave diggers, waste disposal companies and healthcare companies are all constants that do well either way. People get sick, are taxed and die whether times are good or bad.

Discount Retailers

Those who can sell goods at a lower price will obviously do well when people are watching their pockets. Discount retailers benefit greatly during a recession as they allow people to save, something they may not care for significantly in the good times. People will purchase more expensive items when things are good, but may lower their quality when looking for goods in bad times.

These companies also benefit from economies of scale and so can offer cheap goods at great prices to consumers. Though people don’t shop there as an ideal, they still do so during recessions.

Freelancers and Freelance Service Providers

Instead of bringing someone in during a storm and paying them a full wage, business providers and freelancers are taken on as they cost less. These freelance providers don’t require health insurance, a roof, canteen facilities and all the extras that add up in business and so thrive during bad times.

Property Management

Letting agents and others in the property management game do well in recessions as people find it harder to get mortgages to purchase a house. These businesses do well from the increased rental market and so make plenty during recessions.

Debt Settlement

Anyone involved in the area of money collection does well during the bad times. As businesses close, people lose money and need to employ professional services to get their investment back. This means that they will employ people in this area including debt collection companies, legal representatives and others, who all do well when things are down.

These examples of companies, who do well during the bad times, show that there is opportunity in the bad times as well as the good ones.

Cormac Reynolds writes for http://snap-edition.co.uk/ and has written numerous articles on how businesses can succeed during recessions.

 

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Should I Lease or Buy a New Office Copier? How to Choose.

You’re ready for a new office copier. Perhaps you’ve given some thought to the features and options you need. Maybe you’ve even settled on a particular model. Now it’s time to decide: lease or buy?

Leasing vs. Buying

Leasing a piece of office equipment is similar to leasing a car. Essentially, you’re renting the machine for a period of years – usually three to five. If the copier breaks during that time, the leasing company picks up the tab for repairs. When the lease term expires, you can return the copier, exchange it for a new one or purchase it outright.

Buying a copy machine is, well, pretty self explanatory. You purchase the machine outright for a lump sum. Once the warranty expires, you’re on the hook for any repairs that need to be made. The machine is yours to keep for as long as it functions properly and meets your needs.

Leasing Pros and Cons

Leasing requires little or no money upfront, so it’s a great option for companies that are short on cash or those that need to conserve capital for other expenses. Many times, leasing allows companies to purchase a higher-end model than they would have been able to afford otherwise.

Leasing also means that you’re never stuck with out-of-date equipment. Technology changes rapidly; a copier that is state-of-the-art today might be obsolete in five years. With a lease, you can upgrade to the latest and greatest technology every few years.

The greatest downside to leasing is that you’ll end up paying more for the machine in the long run, due to interest charges. If you have poor, even average credit, those interest charges could be high. And be warned that some leasing companies charge on a per-copy basis. Exceeding your monthly minimums could result in a shockingly high bill 

Buying Pros and Cons

Buying outright appeals to some companies simply because they have full control of the machine. You decide when to have it serviced and when to have it replaced. If the machine breaks down, you don’t have to follow the leasing company’s procedures or wait for their technician to show up. Simply call your repair company of choice.

As mentioned, buying is also significantly less expensive over the long term than leasing. The total cost savings varies based on the price of the copier, the length of the lease and your company’s credit history.

Again, by purchasing a copier, you assume the risk that it might be outdated within a couple years. In that case, you’ll either have to live with old technology or pay to replace it. Buying also requires a significant cash contribution upfront.

Written by Tammy Kelly who frequently writes about office copier options.

 

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Collecting on Overdue Accounts

Collecting on overdue accounts can be a frustrating experience for a small business owner, particularly during the start-up period when every dollar of revenue counts toward staying solvent and repaying debts. It’s not the most pleasant part of being an entrepreneur, but not handling them expeditiously will almost certainly endanger your business’s cash flow and long-term viability.

60 Seconds to establishing a sound and rational policy for collecting payments.

0:60 Do What You Can to Prevent Late Payments

Establish a standard policy for payment and make your customers aware of them before starting work. Some types of businesses may require all or a portion of the payment up front, while others allow terms such as payment within 30 days after receipt of invoice (i.e., Net 30). Your invoices should also clearly state any surcharges for late payments.

0:49 Be Careful with Credit

If you provide goods or services on credit, develop qualification standards that are specific, yet fair (e.g., a good credit history from a credit bureau or good bank references). Put your credit policy in writing and make sure all employees understand it. You should also have the policy posted in your store, or available as a handout.

0:36 Take the Right Attitude

Your collections policy will do no good unless you enforce it. Do not shy away from a potential confrontation, but avoid provoking it as well. If you’ve met your obligation and a customer has not, you’re entirely in the right.

0:29 Find Out Why

On the other hand, don’t assume the customer is entirely wrong. Contact the delinquent account and ask politely for an explanation. It may well be that the invoice has been lost or is awaiting approval. A customer with cash flow problems may request extra time. How you proceed may be very situational. Based on your experience with the customer, you may feel confident enough to allow extra time or installment payments. Make sure you and the customer clearly understand any compromise. Be flexible, but firm; and don’t hesitate to follow up.

0:15 Take Stronger Action

If your collection attempts fail, it may be time to turn to an attorney or collections firm. Terms for these services vary; they may require a fee and/or a percentage of the invoice amount, or a retainer. Again, your course of action will depend on the situation. You may decide the amount of the overdue account does not justify the cost and effort to collect. If so, write it off as a bad debt and move on.

0:09 Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Most everyone deserves a second chance. Should customers with poor payment histories approach you about working for them or restoring credit, don’t immediately refuse unless you are absolutely certain they remain bad risks. Ask them to explain how their situation has changed and decide whether it makes sense to restore the relationship. As a precaution, insist on stricter terms such as advance payment or cash-only.

0:03 Don’t Go it Alone

The small business experts at United Mediation Services can help you establish a payment and credit policy that makes sense for your business, as well as strategies for collecting on delinquent accounts. Contact United Mediation Services for business advice at www.unitedmediationservices.com or email jpillow@unitedmediationservices.com.

THEY WILL COLLECT THE FIRST TWO ACCOUNTS FOR FREE!

(must be B2B or B2C)

About United Mediation Services (www.unitedmediationservices.com)

United Mediation Services, headquarted in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suburb of Plano,Texas is uniquely positioned to supply an improved level of in-demand debt collection services. UMS is a nationwide company that has been involved in the mediation collections of commercial debt for over 70 years. The company charges no up-front costs nor contracts and the UMS staff is thoroughly trained to ensure they are constantly maintaining their clients’ positive public image.

 

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