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The 100 Best Business Books of All Time – In The Books #current #business

#business books

#

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time


Thousands of business books are published every year Here are the best of the best. Now updated, with more than ten new books reviewed.

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time was written by two former leaders of 800-CEO-READ, Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten, with its current leader, Sally Haldorson. Originally published in 2009, The 100 Best is a guide to essential business reading for leaders, managers, and employees alike. If you want to grow, innovate, sell, lead, discover, and strategize, the books in The 100 Best are the ones to help you achieve your goals.

ABOUT THE 100 BEST

After years of reading, evaluating, and selling business books, 800-CEO-READ is the most respected expert on the category. Now they have chosen the 100 best business titles of all time the ones that deliver the biggest payoff for today’s busy readers.

The 100 Best puts each book in context, so that readers can quickly find solutions to the problems they face, such as how best to spend The First 90 Days in a new job or how to take their company from Good to Great. Many of the choices are surprising you ll find reviews of Moneyball and Orbiting the Giant Hairball. but not Jack Welch s memoir.

At the end of each review, Jack and Todd direct readers to other books both inside and outside The 100 Best. And sprinkled throughout are sidebars taking the reader beyond business books, suggesting movies, novels, and even children’s books that offer equally relevant insights.

This book will appeal to anyone, from entry-level to CEO, who wants to cut through the clutter and discover the brilliant books that are truly worth their investment of time and money.

Get a feel for the book. Get a feel for the book. Start with the introduction (download the PDF ). Then check out a review from both of us: with a review from both Jack and Todd:

And to get a feel for the layout of the book, check out the book’s “lost” chapter, which contains a collection of Industry book reviews. (Download the PDF )

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Now retired, Jack Covert is the founder of and former president of 800-CEO-READ. now an independent company, but longtime partner of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Hired twenty-five years ago by the late David Schwartz to promote business and computer books to the Milwaukee business community, Jack used his considerable sales skills and innate business acumen to grow that 3-shelf business section into a 7 million dollar specialty business book retailer.

Todd Sattersten currently runs BizBookLab. a company that identifies, develops, and launches business books around the world from Portland, Oregon. Previously, he was president of 800-CEO-READ, spent six years at GE, and three years working with his father in the family sheet metal fabrication business. Todd received his BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and his MBA from Marquette University.

Sally Haldorson is the General Manager of 800-CEO-READ and has worked for the company in many different roles for twenty years. She has an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, and lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and son.

THE CHAPTERS OF THE 100 BEST





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FirstBank Free Business Checking – Free Checking For All #business #name #search

#free business checking

#

FirstBank Free Business Checking

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  • Debits – Automated Clearing House (ACH): $0.15
  • Credits – Paper (ledger): $0.30
  • Credits – Automated Clearing House (ACH): $0.20
  • Deposited Item: $0.10
  • Negative Average Collected Balance Fees will apply. Refer to the FirstBank Business rate sheet for more information.

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The 100 Best Business Books of All Time – In The Books #local #business

#business books

#

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time


Thousands of business books are published every year Here are the best of the best. Now updated, with more than ten new books reviewed.

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time was written by two former leaders of 800-CEO-READ, Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten, with its current leader, Sally Haldorson. Originally published in 2009, The 100 Best is a guide to essential business reading for leaders, managers, and employees alike. If you want to grow, innovate, sell, lead, discover, and strategize, the books in The 100 Best are the ones to help you achieve your goals.

ABOUT THE 100 BEST

After years of reading, evaluating, and selling business books, 800-CEO-READ is the most respected expert on the category. Now they have chosen the 100 best business titles of all time the ones that deliver the biggest payoff for today’s busy readers.

The 100 Best puts each book in context, so that readers can quickly find solutions to the problems they face, such as how best to spend The First 90 Days in a new job or how to take their company from Good to Great. Many of the choices are surprising you ll find reviews of Moneyball and Orbiting the Giant Hairball. but not Jack Welch s memoir.

At the end of each review, Jack and Todd direct readers to other books both inside and outside The 100 Best. And sprinkled throughout are sidebars taking the reader beyond business books, suggesting movies, novels, and even children’s books that offer equally relevant insights.

This book will appeal to anyone, from entry-level to CEO, who wants to cut through the clutter and discover the brilliant books that are truly worth their investment of time and money.

Get a feel for the book. Get a feel for the book. Start with the introduction (download the PDF ). Then check out a review from both of us: with a review from both Jack and Todd:

And to get a feel for the layout of the book, check out the book’s “lost” chapter, which contains a collection of Industry book reviews. (Download the PDF )

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Now retired, Jack Covert is the founder of and former president of 800-CEO-READ. now an independent company, but longtime partner of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Hired twenty-five years ago by the late David Schwartz to promote business and computer books to the Milwaukee business community, Jack used his considerable sales skills and innate business acumen to grow that 3-shelf business section into a 7 million dollar specialty business book retailer.

Todd Sattersten currently runs BizBookLab. a company that identifies, develops, and launches business books around the world from Portland, Oregon. Previously, he was president of 800-CEO-READ, spent six years at GE, and three years working with his father in the family sheet metal fabrication business. Todd received his BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and his MBA from Marquette University.

Sally Haldorson is the General Manager of 800-CEO-READ and has worked for the company in many different roles for twenty years. She has an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, and lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and son.

THE CHAPTERS OF THE 100 BEST





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Start an ATM Business – All Around ATM – Credit Card Processing – Toll

#atm machine business

#

Just a few of the reasons to start your own ATM business with All Around ATM

We pay you 100% of the Surcharge
Own a franchise with no franchise fees
Each placement brings more income
A suprisingly small portfolio of ATMs can generate incredible revenue
ATMs offer you a reliable source of constant income
Manage your ATM Company from your home
Access all ATM information on line
Most of our start ups earn their entire investment back inside of 6 months then earn profits for years and years
Each ATM placement is win-win. You make the surcharge revenue and the merchant where
you place the ATM makes more in new cash spending

We have the best start up ATM program in the country
Low cost to start up
Work less hours and still build income
Live an unbelievable lifestyle
We sell all of our machines at cost! Which means more money in your pocket.

Why would I want an ATM
business?

Do you want a business that can net well over $100,000 a year, which requires less than an hour a month of your time? I can guarantee you answered yes! With an ATM business, you need no employees or a storefront. It requires a very low start up cost. Your
investment into the ATM machine can be paid back in less than six months. You
can manage your ATM business from home at your own schedule. You may only have
to go to the location of the ATM machine once or twice a month depending on
usage and amount of money stocked in the machine! You can also own an ATM
business, while still working a part-time or full-time job since it requires so
little time!

How do I start my own ATM business?

The ATM business is a very profitable and easy business to get into! Your first and most important step is to find the locations to place the machine. Many people ask, do I have
to own the business to place an ATM machine there? You do not! All you have to
do is approach the business owner and see if they re interested in having an ATM
machine inside their business. Some reasons why a business owner would like a
machine in their business is to lower their credit card costs, see more cash
being spent, as well as to attract customers into their business just by having
an ATM machine on premises. They have no responsibly of the ATM, yet get to
reap all of the benefits! With credit card costs being so high, most business
owners would rather see cash being spent. By having an ATM machine on premises,
they will see cash being spent rather than having to take plastic! Therefore,
they will see lower credit card costs and more cash spending! Once you find the
location on where to place the ATM machine, you purchase the machine. All
Around ATM will come out, install the machine, program it, and train you on how
to work the ATM. You are responsible for stocking your cash inside the ATM
machine, and you keep 100% of all the surcharge revenue profits. You get to
select your surcharge amount. You get to select what you d like displayed on
the screen, as well as what you d like to print on the receipt. You can use
this as an advertisement for your ATM company, or you can advertise the
business that the ATM is placed in. You can even sell this advertisement space!
All Around ATM will set you up with a website where you can monitor your ATM,
so you can see exactly what is happening on your machine IN REAL TIME! As soon
as the machine is installed, you start making money! You can make well over
$100,000 a year on 10 machines. These machines require very little time. On
average, depending on how many times a month you fill the machine, you only
will be spending about 10 minutes in total at the machine. It takes as little
as three minutes to load the machine with cash. It s all very simple, and you
can be making more money working a few hours a year, than most people making
working full time!

What are my start up costs for getting into the ATM business?

You can get started into the ATM business for a very low cost. For as little as $1,599, you can purchase your first machine. You can stock the machine with as little as $500 or as much
as $16,000+. Most customers stock their ATM machines with between $1,000-3,000.
Therefore, you can get started with your first ATM machine for under $3,000.
THERE ARE NO FRANCHISE FEES! You can pay off your ATM machine in the first
three months or less, and everything from then on is a profit. ATM machines can
last as long as 7-8 years or more, allowing you to be collecting money off of
the ATM for many years. At All Around ATM we suggest you start with one or two
machines, and build your ATM business up from there. You can gain a good
understanding of the ATM machines and how they work, and then expand your
business! We have many customers who started with only one ATM machine, and now
have well over 100 machines out in the field!

What types of locations do well with an ATM machine and do you find the location?

All different types of locations do well with an ATM machine, but the most important thing comes down to volume! Businesses that often do well with ATM machines are con stores,
restaurants, night clubs, bars, malls, etc. However, the main thing to look at
when trying to find a good location to place the ATM machine is the amount of
people walking into the business daily. Any type of business that is busy will
do well with an ATM machine. The more people walking through a business, the
more usage the ATM machine will get. As far as the location, you are responsible
for finding it. However, we do have a unique program at All Around ATM. We get
tons of inquires a day for businesses looking for a free placement of an ATM
machine. Often times, the business doesn t qualify for a free placement of the
ATM because the location is out of our service area and the armored carrier
costs are just too high. What we do is we match you up with any business
inquires in your area, allowing you to decide if you want to place an ATM
machine inside their location! We always will pass long these free placements to
you, all FREE OF COST! At All Around ATM, we re always looking to help out our
customers and give them new locations.

Contact us now to start living your dreams!!





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Business Credit Cards – All The Best Company Credit Cards #business #lookup

#business credit

#

MoneySuperMarket.com

Promoted Navigation

Primary Navigation

Compare business credit cards

Credit cards for business use feature a host of benefits including travel insurance, cashback, free additional cardholders, 0% on purchases and itemised billing.

Business credit card guide

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card is simply a credit card that is issued to a limited company or sole trader, as opposed to an individual consumer. It can be used as a way of facilitating staff spending, helping cash flow or even to temporarily finance operations.

How do business credit cards work?

Business credit cards work much like conventional credit cards in that borrowers will be given a credit limit and the balance can be paid off over time, subject to a minimum amount being paid each month.

You can also choose how many credit cards you want on your account depending how many staff you have or how many staff members you want to issue a card to.

Just like a personal credit card, a better business credit score will usually net you a better interest rate or other benefits such as interest-free periods, reward points or cashback.

But it s worth noting that business credit card providers may also check your personal credit score which can also affect the outcome of any applications.

What types of business credit card are available?

As with personal credit cards, there are numerous types of business credit card available, each with different perks and interest rates.

For example, there are cards available with interest-free periods on purchases, which are a great way to manage cash flow if money is tight; while cards that offer rewards points or cashback are ideal you use it regularly.

Remember though, for a cashback deal to be worthwhile, you must ensure that you pay the balance off in full at the end of each month. Don t fall foul of the interest charges which can typically vary from between a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 16% (variable) and 26% (variable).

Other common incentives include; free travel cover, free purchase protection and the facility to add additional card holders free of charge.

What are the advantages of business credit cards?

Business credit cards offer a convenient way to pay for goods or services and can be used when placing orders over the phone or online. There is also the added convenience of allowing staff to buy work related items without having to submit an expenses form.

In addition, you can use the card to monitor expenditure and specify a different credit limit for each employee that carries a card. And giving members of staff a company credit card will be seen by them as a mark of trust which is great as long as they don t abuse it!

If used correctly, business credit cards are also a great way to build your businesses credit profile and, provided you pay off the balance at the end of each month, you will have access to interest free spending every month.

Why use MoneySupermarket to compare business credit cards?

As with any financial product, when looking for a business credit card it s important to compare the different products out there to make sure that you get the right one to suit your needs.

For instance, if you regularly spend on your card and clear the balance at the end of each month, then a rewards or cashback card would be more beneficial to you than a card with an interest-free period on purchases.

Or if you are using the card to make a large purchase that you will not have paid off by time any interest-free periods end then you may be better going for a card with a lower standard rate.

And MoneySupermarket s business card comparison tool will instantly compare a range of business credit cards so you can make an informed decision on which card is right for you and your business.

In addition, if you use the Smart Search tool, this will look for which products are best suited to you and rate your chance of acceptance so you don t have to risk getting rejected for credit and it won t leave a footprint on your credit file.

Your personalised chance of approval

We’ve taken the details you gave, and used them to show you personalised scores to tell you the chance that your application for each card would be successful.

Why is this important?

Every time you apply for a credit card, a mark is left on your credit score. That means it’s better get it right first time. Your scores help you understand which cards you have the strongest chance of getting.

It’s easy!

The higher the score, the stronger chance you have of getting the card. If you see a very low score, you’re probably better off choosing a different card.

Consider a different card Not eligible 1/10 2/10 3/10 4/10 5/10 Your chances are good 6/10 7/10 8/10 9/10 9.5/10 You’ve been pre approved

If you see a high score, you can be fairly confident. The scores aren’t a guarantee, as acceptance of your application is at the sole discretion of the card issuer, but they should help guide your choice.

If you see a pre-approved score it may be subject to you passing additional ID and fraud checks by the provider.

In some cases, we will not be able to display a score for a product because we do not have enough information about the card issuer s acceptance criteria or we have not been able to match your details at the credit bureau.

We work closely with our partners to improve our eligibility scores for all products that are of interest to you.

We’re free and independent, as well as offering exclusive deals you can’t get anywhere else.

Moneysupermarket is a credit broker this means we ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders though the size of that payment doesn t affect how we show products to customers.

Featured business credit cards – Sorted by APR

Apply for the cards below today or search all credit cards

You can rely on us

We’re here to help





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10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time – Business – Small business #business #tax #software

#top entrepreneurs

#

History s 10 greatest entrepreneurs

By Philipp Harper

Special to msnbc.com

How many entrepreneurs have there been in the history of the world? Millions, certainly, probably even billions. These are the men and women who take capital — their own or somebody else’s — and use it to beget more capital. Some fail, some succeed, some excel.

With so many candidates to choose from, any list of the 10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time will necessarily be somewhat arbitrary. It will also be top-heavy with Americans, just as a list of great chefs would be disproportionately French or of great eccentrics dominated by the British.

Business is what America does. If that sounds chauvinistic, get over it.

Here, without further ado but with tongue occasionally in cheek, are history’s 10 greatest entrepreneurs.

1.King Croesus. A pick by our veterans committee, Croesus, who ruled the Asia Minor kingdom of Lydia in the sixth century B.C. is owed a huge debt of gratitude for minting the world’s first coinage, thereby creating in a single stroke the lifeblood of every business: liquidity and cash flow. Moreover, his opulent lifestyle has given entrepreneurs throughout history something to shoot for. Is there a greater distinction for the commercially inclined than to be deemed “as rich as Croesus”?

2.Pope Sixtus IV. Sixtus gets the nod for realizing that the “wages of sin” meant more than unpleasant repercussions. There was money to be made in damnation, and Sixtus mined it by opening up a new market — the dead — for the indulgences the church had been selling for years. Relatives of the deceased quickly filled the Vatican’s coffers with payments intended to lessen the time their loved ones spent in purgatory. In 1478 Sixtus “grew his market” by authorizing the Spanish Inquisition, which swelled purgatory’s ranks by 100,000 souls in 15 years. He also was the first pope to license brothels.

3.Benjamin Franklin. In a real sense, Franklin was America’s first entrepreneur. Unlike other of the Founding Fathers — the hypermoral Washington, the prodigiously intellectual Jefferson — whose virtues and attainments are seen today as anachronisms, Franklin truly was a model of what many of us would become. Beneath the statesman’s mantle resided a popular author, a printer, an inventor (the lightning rod, bifocals) and a very savvy businessman who knew how to commercialize the fruits of his fertile mind.

4. P.T. Barnum. Americans have always loved a good scam and Phineas Taylor Barnum took the art to new heights. He played on our fascination with the bizarre and freakish with sideshow acts ranging from the midget Tom Thumb to Jumbo the giant elephant. In between was a host of more dubious curiosities. He created the Barnum and Bailey Circus as a showcase for all this wonderment, and dubbed it “the Greatest Show on Earth.” Along the way he invented modern advertising and became rich. For the record, he never said “There’s a sucker born every five minutes,” but he left behind plenty of other bon mots. Among them: “Every crowd has a silver lining.”

5.Thomas Edison. What do you say about the man who gave the world the electric light, the phonograph, talking motion pictures and more than 1,300 other patented inventions? That he was the world’s greatest inventor, certainly. But he was also able to exploit the profit potential in his creations, an entrepreneurial bent that asserted itself when Edison was a teen-ager, printing a newspaper in the baggage car of a rolling train and then selling copies to passengers. His impact on the way people live was and is pervasive. As a combination of inventive genius and entrepreneurial flair, he stands alone.

6.Henry Ford. Ford also fundamentally changed human lifestyles by making available a vehicle, the Model T, that vastly extended people’s range of movement. The automobile would allow America’s masses to fulfill their Manifest Destiny to populate every corner of the continent. But his more profound impact was on industry. The moving assembly line he designed to build his cars was the signal breakthrough of the Industrial Age. Appropriately, Ford earned the seed capital for his enterprise by working as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit.

7.Benjamin Siegel. Known as “Bugsy” to his friends, Siegel was a notorious mobster with a touch of the visionary. Legend has it that he single-handedly invented Las Vegas, and that’s a stretch. But he was the first to see what the town could become: a lush oasis of pleasure where gambling was just one of the attractions. He also proved adept at attracting other people’s money to build his iconic resort, The Flamingo. Trouble was, some of those other people belonged to an outfit called Murder Inc. and Siegel was gunned down in 1947 amid rumors he had stolen from his partners. But give the devil his due: Before there was the Bellagio, there was Bugsy.

8.Ray Kroc. Nothing says entrepreneur like persistence, and nothings says persistence like Ray Kroc, the kitchen wares salesman who in 1954, at age 52 and in poor health, had his imagination hijacked by a family-run restaurant in the desert outside Los Angeles. Once he had bought out the McDonald brothers, Kroc proceeded to take their concept of a limited menu, fast service and low prices and expand it nationally, in the process creating the fast-food industry and dramatically affecting America’s lifestyle and, sadly, collective health.

9.H. Ross Perot. Within every entrepreneur lurks a touch of the cowboy, and there’s no better example of the strain than Perot, the diminutive Texan who has become best known in recent years as a political gadfly. Before that, though, he was all business, using a $1,000 loan from his wife in 1962 to launch Electronic Data Systems. Perot’s winning idea was that large corporations and organizations needed data-processing help if they were to take full advantage of computer technology. When in the mid-’60s he won contracts with two new federal health-care programs — Medicare and Medicaid — EDS was off and running and Perot was on his way to being one of America’s richest citizens.

10.Jobs & Wozniak. Apple Computer’s two Steves weren’t the first Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to launch a billion-dollar business from a Palo Alto garage — Hewlett and Packard were there before them — but they were the first to democratize computing by creating a machine whose use was so wonderfully intuitive that even technophobes embraced it. Combine the elegance of Wozniak’s operating system design with Jobs’ marketing savvy (remember Apple’s “1984” ad?) and the result was a true phenomenon. Yes, the Apple was eclipsed by the PC, but only after Microsoft (behind the vision of two other notable entrepreneurs, Bill Gates and Paul Allen) developed Windows to ape its rival’s ease of use.

Philipp Harper is a freelance journalist living in south Georgia.





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Business Credit Cards – All The Best Company Credit Cards #stock #exchange

#business credit

#

MoneySuperMarket.com

Promoted Navigation

Primary Navigation

Compare business credit cards

Credit cards for business use feature a host of benefits including travel insurance, cashback, free additional cardholders, 0% on purchases and itemised billing.

Business credit card guide

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card is simply a credit card that is issued to a limited company or sole trader, as opposed to an individual consumer. It can be used as a way of facilitating staff spending, helping cash flow or even to temporarily finance operations.

How do business credit cards work?

Business credit cards work much like conventional credit cards in that borrowers will be given a credit limit and the balance can be paid off over time, subject to a minimum amount being paid each month.

You can also choose how many credit cards you want on your account depending how many staff you have or how many staff members you want to issue a card to.

Just like a personal credit card, a better business credit score will usually net you a better interest rate or other benefits such as interest-free periods, reward points or cashback.

But it s worth noting that business credit card providers may also check your personal credit score which can also affect the outcome of any applications.

What types of business credit card are available?

As with personal credit cards, there are numerous types of business credit card available, each with different perks and interest rates.

For example, there are cards available with interest-free periods on purchases, which are a great way to manage cash flow if money is tight; while cards that offer rewards points or cashback are ideal you use it regularly.

Remember though, for a cashback deal to be worthwhile, you must ensure that you pay the balance off in full at the end of each month. Don t fall foul of the interest charges which can typically vary from between a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 16% (variable) and 26% (variable).

Other common incentives include; free travel cover, free purchase protection and the facility to add additional card holders free of charge.

What are the advantages of business credit cards?

Business credit cards offer a convenient way to pay for goods or services and can be used when placing orders over the phone or online. There is also the added convenience of allowing staff to buy work related items without having to submit an expenses form.

In addition, you can use the card to monitor expenditure and specify a different credit limit for each employee that carries a card. And giving members of staff a company credit card will be seen by them as a mark of trust which is great as long as they don t abuse it!

If used correctly, business credit cards are also a great way to build your businesses credit profile and, provided you pay off the balance at the end of each month, you will have access to interest free spending every month.

Why use MoneySupermarket to compare business credit cards?

As with any financial product, when looking for a business credit card it s important to compare the different products out there to make sure that you get the right one to suit your needs.

For instance, if you regularly spend on your card and clear the balance at the end of each month, then a rewards or cashback card would be more beneficial to you than a card with an interest-free period on purchases.

Or if you are using the card to make a large purchase that you will not have paid off by time any interest-free periods end then you may be better going for a card with a lower standard rate.

And MoneySupermarket s business card comparison tool will instantly compare a range of business credit cards so you can make an informed decision on which card is right for you and your business.

In addition, if you use the Smart Search tool, this will look for which products are best suited to you and rate your chance of acceptance so you don t have to risk getting rejected for credit and it won t leave a footprint on your credit file.

Your personalised chance of approval

We’ve taken the details you gave, and used them to show you personalised scores to tell you the chance that your application for each card would be successful.

Why is this important?

Every time you apply for a credit card, a mark is left on your credit score. That means it’s better get it right first time. Your scores help you understand which cards you have the strongest chance of getting.

It’s easy!

The higher the score, the stronger chance you have of getting the card. If you see a very low score, you’re probably better off choosing a different card.

Consider a different card Not eligible 1/10 2/10 3/10 4/10 5/10 Your chances are good 6/10 7/10 8/10 9/10 9.5/10 You’ve been pre approved

If you see a high score, you can be fairly confident. The scores aren’t a guarantee, as acceptance of your application is at the sole discretion of the card issuer, but they should help guide your choice.

If you see a pre-approved score it may be subject to you passing additional ID and fraud checks by the provider.

In some cases, we will not be able to display a score for a product because we do not have enough information about the card issuer s acceptance criteria or we have not been able to match your details at the credit bureau.

We work closely with our partners to improve our eligibility scores for all products that are of interest to you.

We’re free and independent, as well as offering exclusive deals you can’t get anywhere else.

Moneysupermarket is a credit broker this means we ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders though the size of that payment doesn t affect how we show products to customers.

Featured business credit cards – Sorted by APR

Apply for the cards below today or search all credit cards

You can rely on us

We’re here to help





Tags : , , , , , , ,

10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time – Business – Small business #what #is #the

#top entrepreneurs

#

History s 10 greatest entrepreneurs

By Philipp Harper

Special to msnbc.com

How many entrepreneurs have there been in the history of the world? Millions, certainly, probably even billions. These are the men and women who take capital — their own or somebody else’s — and use it to beget more capital. Some fail, some succeed, some excel.

With so many candidates to choose from, any list of the 10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time will necessarily be somewhat arbitrary. It will also be top-heavy with Americans, just as a list of great chefs would be disproportionately French or of great eccentrics dominated by the British.

Business is what America does. If that sounds chauvinistic, get over it.

Here, without further ado but with tongue occasionally in cheek, are history’s 10 greatest entrepreneurs.

1.King Croesus. A pick by our veterans committee, Croesus, who ruled the Asia Minor kingdom of Lydia in the sixth century B.C. is owed a huge debt of gratitude for minting the world’s first coinage, thereby creating in a single stroke the lifeblood of every business: liquidity and cash flow. Moreover, his opulent lifestyle has given entrepreneurs throughout history something to shoot for. Is there a greater distinction for the commercially inclined than to be deemed “as rich as Croesus”?

2.Pope Sixtus IV. Sixtus gets the nod for realizing that the “wages of sin” meant more than unpleasant repercussions. There was money to be made in damnation, and Sixtus mined it by opening up a new market — the dead — for the indulgences the church had been selling for years. Relatives of the deceased quickly filled the Vatican’s coffers with payments intended to lessen the time their loved ones spent in purgatory. In 1478 Sixtus “grew his market” by authorizing the Spanish Inquisition, which swelled purgatory’s ranks by 100,000 souls in 15 years. He also was the first pope to license brothels.

3.Benjamin Franklin. In a real sense, Franklin was America’s first entrepreneur. Unlike other of the Founding Fathers — the hypermoral Washington, the prodigiously intellectual Jefferson — whose virtues and attainments are seen today as anachronisms, Franklin truly was a model of what many of us would become. Beneath the statesman’s mantle resided a popular author, a printer, an inventor (the lightning rod, bifocals) and a very savvy businessman who knew how to commercialize the fruits of his fertile mind.

4. P.T. Barnum. Americans have always loved a good scam and Phineas Taylor Barnum took the art to new heights. He played on our fascination with the bizarre and freakish with sideshow acts ranging from the midget Tom Thumb to Jumbo the giant elephant. In between was a host of more dubious curiosities. He created the Barnum and Bailey Circus as a showcase for all this wonderment, and dubbed it “the Greatest Show on Earth.” Along the way he invented modern advertising and became rich. For the record, he never said “There’s a sucker born every five minutes,” but he left behind plenty of other bon mots. Among them: “Every crowd has a silver lining.”

5.Thomas Edison. What do you say about the man who gave the world the electric light, the phonograph, talking motion pictures and more than 1,300 other patented inventions? That he was the world’s greatest inventor, certainly. But he was also able to exploit the profit potential in his creations, an entrepreneurial bent that asserted itself when Edison was a teen-ager, printing a newspaper in the baggage car of a rolling train and then selling copies to passengers. His impact on the way people live was and is pervasive. As a combination of inventive genius and entrepreneurial flair, he stands alone.

6.Henry Ford. Ford also fundamentally changed human lifestyles by making available a vehicle, the Model T, that vastly extended people’s range of movement. The automobile would allow America’s masses to fulfill their Manifest Destiny to populate every corner of the continent. But his more profound impact was on industry. The moving assembly line he designed to build his cars was the signal breakthrough of the Industrial Age. Appropriately, Ford earned the seed capital for his enterprise by working as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit.

7.Benjamin Siegel. Known as “Bugsy” to his friends, Siegel was a notorious mobster with a touch of the visionary. Legend has it that he single-handedly invented Las Vegas, and that’s a stretch. But he was the first to see what the town could become: a lush oasis of pleasure where gambling was just one of the attractions. He also proved adept at attracting other people’s money to build his iconic resort, The Flamingo. Trouble was, some of those other people belonged to an outfit called Murder Inc. and Siegel was gunned down in 1947 amid rumors he had stolen from his partners. But give the devil his due: Before there was the Bellagio, there was Bugsy.

8.Ray Kroc. Nothing says entrepreneur like persistence, and nothings says persistence like Ray Kroc, the kitchen wares salesman who in 1954, at age 52 and in poor health, had his imagination hijacked by a family-run restaurant in the desert outside Los Angeles. Once he had bought out the McDonald brothers, Kroc proceeded to take their concept of a limited menu, fast service and low prices and expand it nationally, in the process creating the fast-food industry and dramatically affecting America’s lifestyle and, sadly, collective health.

9.H. Ross Perot. Within every entrepreneur lurks a touch of the cowboy, and there’s no better example of the strain than Perot, the diminutive Texan who has become best known in recent years as a political gadfly. Before that, though, he was all business, using a $1,000 loan from his wife in 1962 to launch Electronic Data Systems. Perot’s winning idea was that large corporations and organizations needed data-processing help if they were to take full advantage of computer technology. When in the mid-’60s he won contracts with two new federal health-care programs — Medicare and Medicaid — EDS was off and running and Perot was on his way to being one of America’s richest citizens.

10.Jobs & Wozniak. Apple Computer’s two Steves weren’t the first Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to launch a billion-dollar business from a Palo Alto garage — Hewlett and Packard were there before them — but they were the first to democratize computing by creating a machine whose use was so wonderfully intuitive that even technophobes embraced it. Combine the elegance of Wozniak’s operating system design with Jobs’ marketing savvy (remember Apple’s “1984” ad?) and the result was a true phenomenon. Yes, the Apple was eclipsed by the PC, but only after Microsoft (behind the vision of two other notable entrepreneurs, Bill Gates and Paul Allen) developed Windows to ape its rival’s ease of use.

Philipp Harper is a freelance journalist living in south Georgia.





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