Tag: 12

People on the Move – Memphis Business Journal Online, 12 #business #franchise #opportunities

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People on the Move Memphis Business Journal Online, 12/07/11

Date added: December 7, 2011

Submission Type: New Hire

Current employer: Pathway Lending

Current title/position: Regional Program and Client Manager

Position level: Manager

Duties/responsibilities:
Chris will serve Nashville-based Pathway Lending as the Regional Program and Client Manager (for West Tenn.) out of the Jackson office.

Company headquarters: Nashville

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Pathway Lending is an Equal Opportunity Lender. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, disability, age, or national origin. This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

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12 Cool Web Tools for Small Business #on #line #business

#small business tools

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Find Out Who is Visiting Your Website

Demandbase lets you know when those blue-chip customers are knocking at your virtual door. Its free real-time ticker analyzes your visitors’ IP addresses and compares them with information from sources such as Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis. With those data, Demandbase can tell you the names of the companies at which many of your visitors work. Click on a company name, and Demandbase will sell you the name and contact information for a lead at that company. Demandbase has been called the iTunes of CRM, and it’s almost as affordable: The average cost per lead is just $1.80.

Calendar, Meet Social Networking

LuckyCal aims to make it easier for you to meet up with friends or business contacts. The free Web tool, which launched in December, integrates your work and personal calendars with those of your employees, friends, and business associates (as long as they give you permission). The main benefit could be for road-weary sales teams; LuckyCal will scan your colleagues’ and clients’ Outlook calendars and Facebook profiles and e-mail you when they are in your area. LuckyCal plans to charge for an enterprise version that launches later this year.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Three new software programs can help companies cut carbon emissions. Edison (verdiem.com/edison), CO2 Saver (co2saver.snap.com), and Carbon Control Software (carboncontrolsoftware.com) all use Windows power settings to reduce the energy consumed by computers while they are idle. All the programs provide information on how much carbon you have saved, and Edison estimates how much money you have saved as well. The personal versions of the programs are free. Carbon Control Software’s business version costs $10.50 and up per license per year and Verdiem, the maker of Edison, has a corporate version that sells for $20 per computer per year. It may be worth the price: Globally, IT infrastructure emits as much carbon as the aviation industry, according to research firm Gartner.

Ditch That Phone Tree

Fonolo.com has mapped out the automated customer service phone trees of 200 companies. Log on, click on the department you want to reach (reservations at American Airlines, for example), and Fonolo will make the call, navigate the system, and call you when it has reached your desired department. When we used it to call Citibank, it connected us with a rep in less than 20 seconds, compared with two minutes when calling directly. Fonolo has an iPhone app as well.

Save Money on Travel

When you cancel a flight, you are entitled to a refund of the taxes and fuel charges you paid — even on a nonrefundable ticket. For 25 euros ($32), MissRefund.com will get that money for you. The company has secured refunds as large as $262; the average is $101. If you don’t receive a refund, you don’t have to pay. Meawhile, Vayama.com is an airfare booking site focused on routes and destinations that aren’t generally available online, like Seattle to Denpasar, Bali. But it doesn’t always have the best prices, particularly on run-of-the-mill trips, so make sure to shop around. Airfarewatchdog.com scours listing sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz to find the best deals, even on small airlines like Allegiant. And Yapta.com will alert you when a good price appears on the flight you want. If the price falls after you have bought the ticket, Yapta will, for $15, try to get you a refund or credit for the difference.

Name Your Price for Coding Help

The world’s largest community of software developers and graphic designers is now ready to serve small companies. Since 2001, TopCoder has been holding coding and design competitions to help companies like ESPN develop new software tools, websites, and logos. Late last year, it launched TopCoder Direct, a do-it-yourself version that allows small and midsize companies to get in the game. Log in at topcoder.com/direct, describe what you want, and determine how much money you will award the first- and second-place finishers. When the submissions come in, you pick the best. A prototype for a simple website might cost $1,200.

Skype on Steroids

Chances are you have a cell phone, a work phone, a home phone, a couple of e-mail accounts, and maybe an instant-messaging program. With free software from VoxOx, you can keep them all in one place. Import contacts from all of your e-mail and IM accounts. Then, e-mail, IM, text, or call anyone you know, all through VoxOx. Every user gets a phone number, which shows up in the caller ID of the person receiving the call. If someone uses the number to call you, you can pick up at the computer or have the call forwarded to any phone. But there is one drawback: VoxOx gives users only two free hours of calls. Then, you can either pay a fee or get more free calls by watching ads.





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12 Ways to Make Money Online – Business Opportunities #cupcake #business

#internet business opportunities

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12 Ways to Make Money Online

Regardless of your area of expertise, there is a plethora of opportunities out there for you to make money online. Someone, somewhere can use your skills and talents – and they’re willing to pay you for it.

However, use caution when you see the phrase “make money online,” as it could be a scam. Christine Durst, consultant to the FBI on Internet scam issues told Woman’s Day magazine, There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the Internet – that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams.

So how can you tell? Here’s a hint: Legit job offers never require you to pay a fee to get more information, nor do they come in unsolicited junk emails.

We’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a list of 13 (legit) ways to make money online. While some have bigger payouts than others, if done the right way they can all add up to a healthy income.

1. Become an Online Reseller

An online reseller purchases items and resells them on sites like eBay to make a profit. Sellers determine the price by the market and the value of items they sell, so it’s imperative that you have a strong knowledge of what the product is worth (market value). Depending on the volume of your business, reselling on eBay and other sites could become a lucrative full-time job.

2. Try Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing ways to earn money online. What’s great about becoming an affiliate marketer is that you don’t have to create any products yourself. You just link up a buyer and a seller, and you take a commission on the sale. One piece of advice, don’t join every affiliate program you come across in hopes of increasing your streams of revenue. Choose wisely and don’t overload yourself. Here are some of the most popular affiliate programs to help you get started: CJ Affiliate. ClickBank. Google AdSense and Rakuten LinkShare .

3. Virtual Independent Contractor

Customer service has evolved in the last few decades. It’s no longer about just answering questions from a cubicle in a call center. Larger companies like J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers and IRS outsource their customer service to third parties who then hire home-based workers to take calls. Become an independent contractor with LiveOps and you will have the freedom to operate your own business providing customer service right from the comfort of your own home.

With a college degree and skills in math, science, English or a variety of other subjects, online tutoring might be the right fit for a little extra cash. At Tutor.com. working as an independent contractor can earn you around $10-$14 per hour based on the subject and hours worked. The busier you are with your home tutoring business. the more money you can make. Some online tutors bring in up to $1,600 a month.

Although most transcription companies will require you to pass an entrance exam, once you get your foot in the door there is real opportunity to make money. TranscribeMe offers short audio files to be transcribed at a rate of $14 per audio hour, with potential to earn up to $20. The key here is audio hour – your speed and efficiency will determine your overall hourly rate.

Registered nurses should consider a company like Fonemed. which provides phone-based triage and medical information to customers in Canada and the US. Companies like Fonemed contract with medical-related clients, doctor’s offices and pediatrician’s offices to answer questions during non-office hours (usually weeknights and weekends). To be considered, you must be licensed in the state or province where you are located and have at least three years of recent clinical experience with adults and children. Typical Fonemed nurses make $27 an hour and are eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave.

You don’t need a computer science background to get into the app biz. What makes app development such an attractive opportunity is minimal overhead. While $0.99 is a cheap price for a consumer, multiply that by the millions of people who have the device to download it. So, get brainstorming. Yours could be the next killer app.

8. Take Online Surveys

You definitely won’t get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to earn a little cash on the side. Do your homework and make sure the survey company is legitimate. My Survey. Pinecone Research and SurveySpot are just a few you should check out.

9. Closed Captioning

Work from home doing court reporting or creating closed captioning for the hearing impaired for television, videos, etc. It’s an industry you can break into with just a little training that inevitably pays quite well. Captioning is generally done with a stenotype machine, and if you are trained to use one it is possible to type over 200 words per minute. If you aren’t trained, visit the National Court Reporting Association for more information.

10 Take Part in an Online Jury

Think about this. Companies like eJury.com and OnlineVerdict.com will pay you to sit on mock juries to give attorneys and consultants feedback on cases they are working on. These cases are real and your verdict will give them a prediction of how things might go in the courtroom. Payment ranges from $5 to $60.

11. Become a Virtual Assistant

Business owners and other professionals are in need of personal assistants but can’t afford to add a permanent position. So what do they do? They hire remotely to address their administrative needs. Contact businesses in your area or register with an agency like Zirtual.com to get stated.

12. Flip Domain Names

One of the easiest ways to make money online is by buying a domain name for a low price and selling it for a higher price. You can purchase domain names through sites like GoDaddy or in an online auction at NameJet. There are dozens of reasons why domains expire, and you can profit from them. Flipping domains doesn’t cost a fortune to start and you can flip as many domains as possible.

Featured Opportunities View All





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How to Start a Catering Business: 12 Steps (with Pictures) #small #business #startup #loans

#catering business

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How to Start a Catering Business

If you host dinner parties for your family and friends every chance you get, you’re up on food trends and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a catering business. You have the advantage of starting small with relatively low overhead and building your business as you gain more clients. Read on for information on how to find your niche, launch your business and spread the word.

Steps Edit

Part One of Three:
Finding Your Catering Niche Edit

Think about what food you love to make. Catering, like any other business, should be rooted in a genuine interest and passion. Consider the following types of food you could focus on as you develop your catering business:

  • Lunch or brunch-style food. If you enjoy making sandwiches, quiches, tarts, salads, and other food that is generally served during the day, you might want to model your business around lunchtime service. You could cater business luncheons, daytime awards ceremonies, school functions, and so on.
  • Wedding reception or special event meals. Wedding caterers typically offer a variety of appetizers and finger foods along with several hearty entrees and a few desserts.
  • Desserts only. If you love baking and have a flair for making cookies and cakes, consider desserts-only catering. This may limit the types of clients who hire you, but you’ll also have less equipment to buy.
  • Appetizers and cocktails. Clients are increasingly hiring caterers to create a trendy, festive atmosphere by serving only appetizers, sometimes accompanied by caterer-prepared specialty cocktails.

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Create a menu. By doing this first, you can figure out how much kitchen space you’ll need, what appliances you should install and how much you can expect to bring in financially.

  • Try to have a variety of items to suit different tastes. Even if you specialize in one cuisine or type of meal, make sure your menu appeals to a lot of tastes. For example, if you want to offer a lot of spicy food, have non-spicy options as well.
  • Consider offering vegetarian and vegan options for clients who don’t eat meat and other animal products.
  • Keep your menu to a manageable size, with food you’re comfortable cooking made with ingredients you know you can source.

Test your dishes. Once you’ve settled on a menu, have a party to test out your dishes on family and friends. Ask them for honest feedback about the entire experience – both the food and the service.

  • Tweak your dishes until you’re convinced they’re delicious and crowd friendly.
  • Practice makes perfect. Make sure you’ve got the techniques, cooking times, and presentation down before you launch your business.

Part Two of Three:
Securing Your Space and Supplies Edit

Find a space to rent. Even if your starting small, most local laws prohibit people from operating catering businesses from a home kitchen. Look into your jurisdiction’s health codes to find out what type of space you’ll need to rent.

  • Consider operating from a commercial kitchen. Some kitchens allow people to rent the space for a day or a few hours at a time. This situation could be the right one for you if you cater only on the weekends or a few times a month.
  • If catering is going to be your full-time business, you’ll probably need a more permanent storage and cooking facility. Find a place with adequate plumbing so you’ll be able to set up your cooking and catering equipment. Check with your landlord and your local zoning office to make sure you can install the proper equipment like ventilation hoods and grease traps.
  • If you plan to host tastings or sell food directly from your kitchen, look for a place with a storefront that’s separate from the kitchen, and provide tables and seating for customers.

Set up your kitchen. Catering work requires industrial equipment that is usually more expensive than equipment you would use in your home kitchen. Create a budget and figure out exactly what you’ll need to run your business efficiently.

  • Base your equipment purchases on your menu. For example, if many of your items are baked, install at least two ovens. If you have a lot of fried foods, opting for more than one fryer might be a good idea.
  • You may want to install multiple sinks to make your prep work more efficient, especially if you plan on hiring people.
  • Plan ahead for food storage, too. Multiple refrigerators and a walk-in freezer might be necessary to store dishes you prepare ahead of time. Heated and non-heated holding areas are important for holding temperature and storing prepared items.
  • Obtain all the pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment you need to make the items on your menu.

Purchase the catering equipment that you will use on-site. The equipment you choose will depend on the type of service you want to provide, but at minimum you will need serving platters and serving utensils.

  • Many catering businesses provide plates, silverware, glassware, or disposable plates and utensils.
  • You may want to offer special display trays and tiered food platters to help make the catered event more festive.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food either cold or hot, such as chafing dishes with liquid fuel burners.
  • Consider buying linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. Some catering businesses also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.




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12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives by Michael Josephson #business #advertising

#ethics in business

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12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives by Michael Josephson Wendy Harker

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12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives by Michael Josephson

I was sitting at home thinking about this and so had to post on this topic.

by JOSEPHSON INSTITUTE on

Revised November, 2013

If recent history teaches us anything is that ethics and character count, especially in business. Huge organizations like Enron, Arthur Andersen and Health South have been destroyed and others were seriously damaged (AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) by executives with massive ambition and intelligence but no moral compass. In today’s ultra competitive, high tech, interdependent business world, charisma without conscience and cleverness without character are a recipe for economic and personal failure of epic proportions. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, “To educate the mind without the morals is to educate a menace to society.”

Competitiveness, ambition and innovation will always be important to success but they must be regulated by core ethical principles like the ones described below.

Let’s start with a basic definition: ethical principles are universal standards of right and wrong prescribing the kind of behavior an ethical company or person should and should not engage in. These principles provide a guide to making decisions but they also establish the criteria by which your decisions will be judged by others.

In business, how people judge your character is critical to sustainable success because it is the basis of trust and credibility. Both of these essential assets can be destroyed by actions which are, or are perceived to be unethical. Thus, successful executives must be concerned with both their character and their reputation.

Abraham Lincoln described character as the tree and reputation as the shadow. Your character is what you really are; your reputation is what people think of you. Thus, your reputation is purely a function of perceptions (i.e. do people think your intentions and actions are honorable and ethical) .while your character is determined and defined by your actions (i.e. whether your actions are honorable and ethical according to the 12 ethical principles:

1. HONESTY. Be honest in all communications and actions . Ethical executives are, above all, worthy of trust and honesty is the cornerstone of trust. They are not only truthful, they are candid and forthright. Ethical executives do not deliberately mislead or deceive others by misrepresentations, overstatements, partial truths, selective omissions, or any other means and when trust requires it they supply relevant information andcorrect misapprehensions of fact.

2. INTEGRITY.Maintain personal integrity. Ethical executives earn the trust of others through personal integrity. Integrity refers to a wholeness of character demonstrated by consistency between thoughts, words and actions. Maintaining integrity often requires moral courage, the inner strength to do the right thing even when it may cost more than they want to pay. The live by ethical principles despite great pressure to do otherwise. Ethical executives are principled, honorable, upright and scrupulous. They fight for their beliefs and do not sacrifice principle for expediency.

3. PROMISE-KEEPING.Keep promises and fulfill commitments . Ethical executives can be trusted because they make everyreasonable effort to fulfill the letter and spirit of theirpromises and commitments. They do not interpret agreementsin an unreasonably technical or legalistic manner inorder to rationalize non-compliance or create justifications for escaping their commitments.

4. LOYALTY. Be loyal within the framework of other ethical principles . Ethical executives justify trust by being loyal to their organization and the people they work with. Ethical executives place a high value on protecting and advancing the lawful and legitimate interests of their companies and their colleagues. T hey do not, however, put their loyalty above other ethical principles or use loyalty to others as an excuse for unprincipled conduct. Ethical executives demonstrate loyalty by safeguarding their ability to make independent professional judgments. They avoid conflicts of interest and they do not use or disclose information learned in confidence for personal advantage. If they decide to accept other employment, ethical executives provide reasonable notice, respect the proprietary information of their former employer, and refuse to engage in any activities that take undue advantage of their previous positions.

5. FAIRNESS.Strive to be fair and just in all dealings . Ethical executives are fundamentally committed to fairness. They do not exercise power arbitrarily nor do they use overreaching or indecent means to gain or maintain any advantage nor take undue advantage of another’s mistakes or difficulties. Ethical executives manifest a commitment to justice, the equal treatment of individuals, tolerance for and acceptance of diversity. They are open-minded; willing to admit they are wrong and, where appropriate, they change their positions and beliefs.

6. CARING.Demonstrate compassion and a genuine concern for the well-being of others . Ethical executives are caring, compassionate, benevolent and kind. They understand the concept of stakeholders (those who have a stake in a decision because they are affected by it) and they always consider the business, financial and emotional consequences of their actions on all stakeholders. Ethical executives seek to accomplish their business objectives in a manner that causes the least harm and the greatest positive good.

7. RESPECT FOR OTHERS.Treat everyone with respect. Ethical executives demonstrate respect for the human dignity, autonomy, privacy, rights, and interests of all those who have a stake in their decisions; they are courteous and treat all people with equal respect and dignity regardless of sex, race or national origin. Ethical executives adhere to the Golden Rule, striving to treat others the way they would like to be treated.

8. LAW ABIDING.Obey the law. Ethical executives abide by laws, rules and regulations relating to their business activities.

9. COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE.Pursue excellence all the time in all things . Ethical executives pursue excellence in performing their duties, are well-informed and prepared, and constantly endeavor to increase their proficiency in all areas of responsibility.

10. LEADERSHIP.Exemplify honor and ethic s. Ethical executives are conscious of the responsibilities and opportunities of their position of leadership and seek to be positive ethical role models by their own conduct and by helping to create an environment in which principled reasoning and ethical decision making are highly prized.

11. REPUTATION AND MORALE.Build and protect and build the company’s good reputation and the morale of it’s employees. Ethical executives understand the importance of their own and their company’s reputation as well as the importance of the pride and good morale of employees. Thus, they avoid words or actions that that might undermine respect and they take affirmative steps to correct or prevent inappropriate conduct of others.

12. ACCOUNTABILITY. Be accountable. Ethical executives acknowledge and accept personal accountability for the ethical quality of their decisions and omissions to themselves, their colleagues, their companies, and their communities.

The Josephson institute is a nonprofit organization that depends on contributions from people like you. Please help us make a more ethical society or simply show your gratitude for whatever value you find in our work by making a tax-deductible donation at http://goo.gl/uUAix





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12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop #boston #business #journal

#home business opportunities

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12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop

Think you need a lot of complicated equipment to start a business from your home? Think again. There are actually plenty of opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to start businesses with just a laptop and maybe a couple of other simple items .

If you want to start a business from your home, but you only have a laptop to work with, here are some work from home ideas for businesses you can start right away.

Work From Home Ideas You Can Start on Your Laptop

Virtual Assistant

A huge variety of business owners and professionals need help organizing and managing their day-to-day tasks. That’s why they hire virtual assistants. You can start a virtual assistant business just by setting up a website and outlining your services and prices to potential clients. Then you can help them manage things like scheduling, email, social media and more communicating with your clients via chat, Skype, email or other means.

Social Media Manager

If you want to get more specific, you can start an online business just to help various businesses start and manage their social media accounts. You can work remotely and communicate with clients about their social media activity. And you can enact specialized social media campaigns and promotions to help them grow their networks on those sites.

Copywriter

Skilled writers, you can offer your services to clients as a freelance copywriter. You can provide a variety of different writing services, from blog posts and product descriptions to short ad copy.

Blogger

Or you can start your own blog about business or a variety of other topics. Then you can earn revenue through PPC advertising, sponsored content, affiliate promotions or even selling informational products related to your topic.

Website Manager

Web developers and tech savvy business owners can also offer services as a website manager. In this capacity, you’d be responsible for maintaining websites for different businesses and clients. You might also be able to help businesses set up and develop different features of their websites. You can do all the work yourself or outsource some of the day-to-day operations with services like Go Daddy Pro .

eBay or Etsy Seller

If you have physical or even digital products to sell, you can set up an eCommerce store on a number of different platforms from your laptop. eBay is one of the most popular platforms for home businesses. But you could also sign up for an account with Etsy, Amazon, or a number of other options.

Translator

Things like books, transcripts and reports all need to be translated into different languages from time to time. If you are fluent in multiple languages, you can offer your services as a translator to make content available in languages other than the one in which it was originally created.

Proofreader

Offering your services as an editor or proofreader is another option for a home-based business. You can have clients send you pieces of writing that you can check for errors. You can even provide suggestions for overall content improvement.

Ebook Author

Writers who have a more long-form story or subject in mind could opt for book authorship rather than short blogs or articles. And you can even become an author from your home with just a laptop thanks to the growing popularity of ebooks. Platforms like Amazon offer the opportunity for writers to upload entire books and offer them for sale to an eager community of online readers.

Logo Designer

Designers who create complicated pieces may require desktop computers or complicated equipment. But you can offer some simple branding packages like logo design to clients right from your laptop. You’ll need to create a website and outline your services. Then work with clients to develop designs for their brands.

Marketing Consultant

If you have some expertise in any area of marketing, you can offer your skills to businesses as a consultant. You can choose a specific niche or just work with businesses in a variety of different areas of marketing. Then communicate with your clients through email, phone calls or other online communications.

Online Teacher

Or you can share your knowledge with online consumers in another format. Whether your expertise is in business, marketing or another discipline entirely like French, history or creative writing you can create online courses within your niche and then sell them on your website or other online platforms. This option allows you to share your knowledge with more people in a shorter amount of time than if you were to just work with clients one on one.

Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird. and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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Looking for Stable Business Ideas? Here Are 12 Types of Companies With Healthy Cash Flow #loan #for #business

#cash flow business

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Looking for Stable Business Ideas? Here Are 12 Types of Companies With Healthy Cash Flow.

Data Featured Lists Editor

November 24, 2014

Land subdivision and funeral businesses may not be the sexiest small-business ideas when compared to, let s say, a web startup or a local coffee shop. But private companies in these fields tend to have the healthiest cash flow, according to new data from Sageworks. a Raleigh, N.C.-based financial data company.

For entrepreneurs seeking new ventures. businesses with a track record of stability and solvency may be a good place to start. Sageworks used highest average current ratios to generate a ranking of 12 business types with healthy cash flow for the year ending Aug. 31, 2014. [See list below.]

Cash flow is a leading indicator of financial strength because if a company has sufficient cash on hand, it will likely meet its short-term obligations — like accounts receivables and employee salaries — on time.

Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver says the businesses listed have the ability to pay their bills and they tend to, on average, have positive cash flow. She adds that while these businesses aren t necessarily fun or flashy, understanding why certain industries or business models are more inclined toward solvency than others is useful for any entrepreneur.

Following land subdivision and death-care services, this year s ranking also includes grocery stores, real-estate businesses, clothing stores, liquor stores, gas stations, dry cleaning and laundry services, specialty-food stores, employment services, health and personal care stores, and investigation and security services.

Land-subdivision companies divide land into plots to make selling the property easier. Weaver explains that its top ranking may reflect the strong real estate/construction market recovery since 2009.

The rest of the results show themes: half of the list represented the retail sector. While giants like Walmart are known to operate with a low current ratio because of their ability to turn inventory quickly into cash, small private retailers may have difficulty predicting consumer behavior and may therefore stockpile inventory to meet any unexpected consumer demand. Weaver explains that the ability for these smaller establishments to then turn these inventory levels into receivables, and receivables into cash plays a big role. Also, she says a third of the industries on the list are service-related businesses, which usually have lower or no inventory needs.

While every industry operates on different business cycles and models, entrepreneurs brainstorming on stable business ideas should always keep solvency in mind.

Often, when businesses fail, they fail because of their inability to manage these ratios and generate positive cash flow, Weaver says.

It s important to note that a current ratio that is too high is not always ideal. A company wants to keep enough cash or liquid assets available to be able to meet its short term debts, but it doesn t want to sit on too much cash or inventory, so that its assets are still being productive for the business.





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12 Cool Web Tools for Small Business #work #from #home #business #ideas

#small business tools

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Find Out Who is Visiting Your Website

Demandbase lets you know when those blue-chip customers are knocking at your virtual door. Its free real-time ticker analyzes your visitors’ IP addresses and compares them with information from sources such as Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis. With those data, Demandbase can tell you the names of the companies at which many of your visitors work. Click on a company name, and Demandbase will sell you the name and contact information for a lead at that company. Demandbase has been called the iTunes of CRM, and it’s almost as affordable: The average cost per lead is just $1.80.

Calendar, Meet Social Networking

LuckyCal aims to make it easier for you to meet up with friends or business contacts. The free Web tool, which launched in December, integrates your work and personal calendars with those of your employees, friends, and business associates (as long as they give you permission). The main benefit could be for road-weary sales teams; LuckyCal will scan your colleagues’ and clients’ Outlook calendars and Facebook profiles and e-mail you when they are in your area. LuckyCal plans to charge for an enterprise version that launches later this year.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Three new software programs can help companies cut carbon emissions. Edison (verdiem.com/edison), CO2 Saver (co2saver.snap.com), and Carbon Control Software (carboncontrolsoftware.com) all use Windows power settings to reduce the energy consumed by computers while they are idle. All the programs provide information on how much carbon you have saved, and Edison estimates how much money you have saved as well. The personal versions of the programs are free. Carbon Control Software’s business version costs $10.50 and up per license per year and Verdiem, the maker of Edison, has a corporate version that sells for $20 per computer per year. It may be worth the price: Globally, IT infrastructure emits as much carbon as the aviation industry, according to research firm Gartner.

Ditch That Phone Tree

Fonolo.com has mapped out the automated customer service phone trees of 200 companies. Log on, click on the department you want to reach (reservations at American Airlines, for example), and Fonolo will make the call, navigate the system, and call you when it has reached your desired department. When we used it to call Citibank, it connected us with a rep in less than 20 seconds, compared with two minutes when calling directly. Fonolo has an iPhone app as well.

Save Money on Travel

When you cancel a flight, you are entitled to a refund of the taxes and fuel charges you paid — even on a nonrefundable ticket. For 25 euros ($32), MissRefund.com will get that money for you. The company has secured refunds as large as $262; the average is $101. If you don’t receive a refund, you don’t have to pay. Meawhile, Vayama.com is an airfare booking site focused on routes and destinations that aren’t generally available online, like Seattle to Denpasar, Bali. But it doesn’t always have the best prices, particularly on run-of-the-mill trips, so make sure to shop around. Airfarewatchdog.com scours listing sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz to find the best deals, even on small airlines like Allegiant. And Yapta.com will alert you when a good price appears on the flight you want. If the price falls after you have bought the ticket, Yapta will, for $15, try to get you a refund or credit for the difference.

Name Your Price for Coding Help

The world’s largest community of software developers and graphic designers is now ready to serve small companies. Since 2001, TopCoder has been holding coding and design competitions to help companies like ESPN develop new software tools, websites, and logos. Late last year, it launched TopCoder Direct, a do-it-yourself version that allows small and midsize companies to get in the game. Log in at topcoder.com/direct, describe what you want, and determine how much money you will award the first- and second-place finishers. When the submissions come in, you pick the best. A prototype for a simple website might cost $1,200.

Skype on Steroids

Chances are you have a cell phone, a work phone, a home phone, a couple of e-mail accounts, and maybe an instant-messaging program. With free software from VoxOx, you can keep them all in one place. Import contacts from all of your e-mail and IM accounts. Then, e-mail, IM, text, or call anyone you know, all through VoxOx. Every user gets a phone number, which shows up in the caller ID of the person receiving the call. If someone uses the number to call you, you can pick up at the computer or have the call forwarded to any phone. But there is one drawback: VoxOx gives users only two free hours of calls. Then, you can either pay a fee or get more free calls by watching ads.





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People on the Move – Memphis Business Journal Online, 12 #lucrative #business #ideas

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People on the Move Memphis Business Journal Online, 12/07/11

Date added: December 7, 2011

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Looking for Stable Business Ideas? Here Are 12 Types of Companies With Healthy Cash Flow #new #business #ideas

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Looking for Stable Business Ideas? Here Are 12 Types of Companies With Healthy Cash Flow.

Data Featured Lists Editor

November 24, 2014

Land subdivision and funeral businesses may not be the sexiest small-business ideas when compared to, let s say, a web startup or a local coffee shop. But private companies in these fields tend to have the healthiest cash flow, according to new data from Sageworks. a Raleigh, N.C.-based financial data company.

For entrepreneurs seeking new ventures. businesses with a track record of stability and solvency may be a good place to start. Sageworks used highest average current ratios to generate a ranking of 12 business types with healthy cash flow for the year ending Aug. 31, 2014. [See list below.]

Cash flow is a leading indicator of financial strength because if a company has sufficient cash on hand, it will likely meet its short-term obligations — like accounts receivables and employee salaries — on time.

Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver says the businesses listed have the ability to pay their bills and they tend to, on average, have positive cash flow. She adds that while these businesses aren t necessarily fun or flashy, understanding why certain industries or business models are more inclined toward solvency than others is useful for any entrepreneur.

Following land subdivision and death-care services, this year s ranking also includes grocery stores, real-estate businesses, clothing stores, liquor stores, gas stations, dry cleaning and laundry services, specialty-food stores, employment services, health and personal care stores, and investigation and security services.

Land-subdivision companies divide land into plots to make selling the property easier. Weaver explains that its top ranking may reflect the strong real estate/construction market recovery since 2009.

The rest of the results show themes: half of the list represented the retail sector. While giants like Walmart are known to operate with a low current ratio because of their ability to turn inventory quickly into cash, small private retailers may have difficulty predicting consumer behavior and may therefore stockpile inventory to meet any unexpected consumer demand. Weaver explains that the ability for these smaller establishments to then turn these inventory levels into receivables, and receivables into cash plays a big role. Also, she says a third of the industries on the list are service-related businesses, which usually have lower or no inventory needs.

While every industry operates on different business cycles and models, entrepreneurs brainstorming on stable business ideas should always keep solvency in mind.

Often, when businesses fail, they fail because of their inability to manage these ratios and generate positive cash flow, Weaver says.

It s important to note that a current ratio that is too high is not always ideal. A company wants to keep enough cash or liquid assets available to be able to meet its short term debts, but it doesn t want to sit on too much cash or inventory, so that its assets are still being productive for the business.





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